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Camelot defeated by Encke in St Leger
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Sat September 15, 2012
Encke, ridden by Mickael Barzalona (right), wins the St Leger Stakes ahead of Camelot (second left) at Doncaster Racecourse
- Camelot fails in bid to win prestigious Triple Crown in St Leger Stakes at Doncaster racecourse, England
- Winner of this season's 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby beaten into second by Encke, ridden by Mickael Barzalona
(CNN) -- English racing was deprived of its first Triple Crown winner in more than 40 years after Encke, ridden by Mickael Barzalona, got up to beat favorite Camelot by three quarters of a length in the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse Saturday.
Camelot had been aiming to emulate Nijinsky by winning the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby and the St Leger in the same season. But he was out-gunned by Encke, whose victory gives his owner, Sheikh Mohammed, a sixth victory in this race and puts him second on the all-time list.
French jockey Barzalona, riding in his first St Leger, described his victory aboard Encke as "very easy," saying he was very happy with the result.
Camelot, the horse with the mythical name, has so far lived up to his billing, winning the Epsom Derby and 2,000 Guineas. Will he win a fairytale Triple Crown at the St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday?
Will Camelot rise again?
In a highly tactical race, pacemaker Dartford dictated the early pace, with Camelot content to settle towards the back of the field.
The legend that is Camelot
Camelot: No ordinary horse
But when the field turned into the home straight Camelot's jockey, Joseph O'Brien, was unable to get his colt into space and Encke was able to open up daylight between himself and the chasing pack.
When Camelot was eventually maneuvered into position he ran on well to close the gap on the Godolphin horse but could only get to within three quarters of a length.
Encke's victory means that not only does England's 42-year wait for a Triple Crown winner continue, but also that Aiden O'Brien does not become the first trainer in history to make a clean sweep of the English Classics in one season; his Ballydoyle operation had already won the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby with Camelot as well as their fillies' equivalents, the 1,000 Guineas and the Oaks.
Camelot's immediate future remains uncertain with a tilt at next month's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe now arguably more, rather than less likely following his defeat at Doncaster.
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