THE initial signs are positive for Camelot, reported to be recovering well from the emergency surgery to treat a bout of colic.
Following the dual Derby winner's defeat on his final start of 2012 in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc, Aidan O'Brien had revealed that he would stay in training next year, but Thursday's development left that prospect in some doubt.
However, yesterday's statement was relatively upbeat: "Camelot's surgery went well and he is doing great. The veterinary team are delighted with his progress to date."
O'Brien also confirmed that Mars, next year's Epsom Derby favourite, is finished for the season, adding that the Dundalk winner could return in the 2,000 Guineas in May.
Meanwhile, Emmet Mullins is looking forward to the Czech Republic's Velka Pardubicka this afternoon. Mullins will ride his uncle Willie's Uncle Junior in the four-and-a-quarter-mile extravaganza, featuring notorious Taxi fences, a bewildering route and ploughed terrain.
"I might be better off not even looking at some of the fences," Mullins quipped on arrival. "My horse has won a La Touche Cup and a cross-country race at Cheltenham, so hopefully the experience should stand to him."
Enda Bolger's JP McManus-owned Doctor Pat, the mount of Richie McClernon, also takes part.
Tomorrow, Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen will be represented by Royal Ascot winner Princess Highway in the EP Taylor Stakes in Woodbine. Ballydoyle's Imperial Monarch is also on Grade One duty, in the Canadian International Stakes, with Ryan Moore on board the Grand Prix de Paris winner.
Joshua Tree, the stable's winner in 2010, lines out for Marco Botti and Frankie Dettori. David Wachman and Wayne Lordan have Fire Lily in the big sprint on the same card.