Camelot's Living Legend Usurps Yibir at Newmarket

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Camelot

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Barbara and Alick Richmond's Living Legend (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) lined up for Friday's G2 Betfair Exchange Jockey Club S. at Newmarket with four previous outings this term under his belt and that match fitness proved decisive as the 6-year-old gelding held last term's GI Breeders' Cup Turf hero and this term's G1 Dubai Sheema Classic runner-up Yibir (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) in rugged fashion. Two of those aforementioned four outings yielded wins with a first stakes tally in Kempton's Mar. 22 Listed Magnolia S. backed up by a victory in Newcastle's Apr. 15 Easter Classic on All-Weather Championships day last time. He was positioned just behind the pacesetting Outbox (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in second through halfway in the 12-furlong feature. Looming large with three furlongs remaining, the 11-1 chance edged ahead at the quarter-mile marker and was driven out in the closing stages as the piping hot 1-4 favourite struggled to land a telling blow.

“We deliberated for about two weeks as to whether to run here or in the [G3] Huxley S. at Chester and we had a long conversation on Thursday morning between Mark [Johnston], Charlie [Johnston], Joe [fanning] and ourselves and ultimately it was [husband] Alick who said we should go for it,” explained winning owner Barbara Richmond. “We had a good horse to beat in Yibir, but we thought ours was a good horse as well so we're absolutely over the moon. This is our first ever Group win and we're just delighted. We bought him off Mark for about 20,000 guineas, or whatever it was, as we were very keen to have a Camelot as we thought he was a great sire. He had tendonitis as a youngster and was superb as a 3-year-old until he had his injury after the May Meeting at Chester. We gave him a year off and he came back into the yard the following April, but couldn't take the training so he had a further year off and then he came back. Mark and Charlie got him training again and he has just gone from strength to strength. We always thought he was a good horse from the start, but after the injury you're never sure. It's as though he was never injured and I think we'll be looking at the [G1] Coronation Cup. We'd need to talk to Mark and Charlie, but it looks the obvious race. We'd have to supplement him, but we've just won a nice pot.”

Reflecting on the performance of Yibir, Charlie Appleby said, “He is one of those characters where the race was never quite run to suit him really. He is one of those horses where they go a gallop and everything comes back at him. He thinks he is King Kong and is electric then. When he is getting into battle half a mile out, it's not for him. It is a classic excuse, but you see him switch his lead at the dip and he is a big old brute to be coming out of it. He is not smooth. Even when he was winning in America he was climbing all the way round and is unconventional when he is doing it. The plan is to head to the {GI] Man O' War in two weeks' time. We were coming up here to get a run in before America and we knew coming into it was one of those races that might not go his way. When he normally comes off a turn it gives him the signal and he is gone, but that turn down is a mile-and-a-quarter out [here] and that is a long way for him.”

Living Legend is the first of two foals and lone performer produced by a multiple-winning daughter of the stakes-placed Madame Boulangere (GB) (Royal Applause {GB}), herself out of a half-sister to GII Oak Tree Derby hero Sign of Hope (GB) (Selkirk). His third dam Jazz (GB) (Sharrood) is a half-sister to four black-type performers including GII Oak Tree Derby victor Sign of Hope (GB) (Selkirk), G2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte second Carmot (GB) (Cadeaux Genereux {GB}) and G2 Premio Chiusura runner-up Finian's Rainbow (GB) (Relkino {GB}).

Friday, Newmarket, Britain
BETFAIR EXCHANGE JOCKEY CLUB S.-G2, £115,000, Newmarket, 4-29, 4yo/up, 12fT, 2:38.15, gd.
1–LIVING LEGEND (IRE), 127, g, 6, by Camelot (GB)
1st Dam: Jazz Girl (Ire), by Johar
2nd Dam: Madame Boulangere (GB), by Royal Applause (GB)
3rd Dam: Jazz (GB), by Sharrood
1ST GROUP WIN. (€25,000 RNA Ylg '17 GOFFEB; 22,000gns Ylg '17 TAOCT). O-Barbara & Alick Richmond; B-A Oliver (IRE); T-Charlie & Mark Johnston; J-Joe Fanning. £65,217. Lifetime Record: 15-7-1-3, $349,634. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Yibir (GB), 130, g, 4, Dubawi (Ire)–Rumh (Ger), by Monsun (Ger). O/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charlie Appleby. £24,725.
3–Outbox (GB), 127, g, 7, Frankel (GB)–Emirates Queen (GB), by Street Cry (Ire). (16,000gns 5yo '20 TATAHI). O-Hambleton Racing Ltd XXXIII; B-Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum (GB); T-Archie Watson. £12,374.
Margins: 1 3/4, 3/4, 8HF. Odds: 11.00, 0.25, 12.00.
Also Ran: Red Verdon, Raymond Tusk (Ire). Scratched: West End Charmer (Ire). Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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