THE reputation of Camelot is going to take an awful lot of restoring after the dual Derby winner suffered defeat yet again yesterday when Aidan O'Brien's colt could only finish fourth behind Al Kazeem in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes.
Whether or not the deflated feeling around Camelot can be reversed will remain to be seen but, after suffering a shock length-and-a-half defeat by Al Kazeem in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last month, Camelot again suffered defeat by Roger Charlton's colt but was four lengths adrift on this occasion.
Punters came for the Ballydoyle inmate, who had serious colic surgery – which at one stage threatened his life not just his career – over the winter months. But, despite being sent off the 5/2 favourite, he couldn't quicken when Mukhadram and Al Kazeem went for glory.
O'Brien (pictured right) wasn't giving up on the three-time Classic winner and said afterwards: "He's had a tough winter and you've got to bear that in mind. We've always been very conscious of what he's been through but maybe now is the time to start chasing him. There are a lot of options – the Eclipse and races like that."
Al Kazeem proved to be the first leg of a memorable treble for jockey James Doyle, who later won on Belgian Bill (33/1) in the Royal Hunt Cup and Rizeena (6/1) in the Queen Mary Stakes.
Winning trainer Charlton said: "There are a lot of lovely races and without discussing with the owners I don't know where next. Like most people I'd love to have a runner in the Arc and if we go there maybe the King George would be next."
Charlton added: "You need to have a lot of patience in this game, it's what Sir Henry Cecil always said, and we've been patient with him but you need the owners."