Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 30 August 2014

Australia's day in Irish Derby for more success for O'Brien

Published 28/06/2014 | 17:52

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28 June 2014: Australia, with Joseph O'Brien up, on their way to winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Curragh Racecourse, The Curragh, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
28 June 2014: Australia, with Joseph O'Brien up, on their way to winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Curragh Racecourse, The Curragh, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Australia gave trainer Aidan O'Brien an amazing 11th triumph in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh as he duly landed the odds.

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Winner of the Investec Derby at Epsom on his previous start, the colt followed in the hoofprints of his sire, Galileo, who took this prize in 2001 and his dam, Ouija Board, the Irish Oaks winner in 2004.

Joseph O'Brien, riding his second Irish Derby winner, sat in third place as stablemates Kingfisher and Orchestra made the running.

He made his move on Australia in the straight before leading a furlong out and going on to score as he liked.

The 1-8 favourite was eased down close home, while Kingfisher (25-1) was second and Orchestra third as the O'Brien team filled the first three places.

Australia was sent off at a highly prohibitive price after the race was reduced to just five runners with the late defections of Epsom runner-up Kingston Hill and the winner's stablemate, Geoffrey Chaucer.

However, the expectant crowd got the result they had hoped for as the Ballydoyle inmate completed the Derby double in championship style.

Aidan O'Brien said: "He's got a lot of speed and so much class, it's incredible.

"He just relaxes in his races. Pace is his big thing, he just travels.

"It's very strange that he gets a mile and a half, but I would say he will shorten right up after that. I imagine he'll go back to a mile and a quarter now."

Asked about the possibility of Australia running in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 13, O'Brien said: "I would say he was made for that race."

Australia has been rated a special horse from his early days, as co-owner John Magnier explained.

He said: "It was very easy to spot Australia at the sales, being by Galileo out of such a famous mare.

"It was a no-brainer once he looked the part and, medically, he was OK.

"I was confident before the Irish Derby because I'd been listening to Aidan since he (Australia) was a two-year-old.

"You know Aidan doesn't do that (describe Australia as the best horse he has trained) in an arrogant way.

"He genuinely believes that and he just wanted to share it with people.

"Some days there would be Press people down there (in Ballydoyle) for three and four hours at a time and I guess you wind up, you have to say something, so if he believed he was good, why not say it?

"It adds a bit of excitement and, of course, it puts 12st 7lb on the horse as it's a stick to beat yourself."

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