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Australia stands ground

Dual Derby hero Australia is one of 11 remaining possibles in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York next Wednesday.

The three-year-old has not been seen since comfortably accounting for a small field in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

His trainer Aidan O'Brien has repeatedly stressed his participation in the Knavesmire is not completely guaranteed and the Ballydoyle handler has left in stable companions Kingsbarns, Kingfisher and Hall Of Mirrors.

Chief threat to Australia could come from Michael Stoute's Telescope.


The four-year-old was no match for Taghrooda in the King George but lost little in defeat and was earlier an easy winner of the Hardwicke Stakes. He landed the Great Voltigeur on this card 12 months ago.

"It was a really good performance but, as they say, hats off to a brilliant filly who beat us," said Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.

"I think the likelihood is that he will run at York. We want to look at everything - ground, opposition, so we are not on the, 'Yes, he will run'. But we are not far off that."

Just behind Telescope in the King George was John Gosden's Eagle Top and he is another possible, although he also holds an entry in the Great Voltigeur.

The same comments apply to Roger Varian's Kingston Hill, runner-up to Australia in the Investec Derby.

Coral-Eclipse winner Mukhadram is on course for William Haggas, while Derby fourth Arod, a facile winner of a three-horse conditions race last time out, is also likely to run.

Jim Bolger's Trading Leather and Kevin Ryan's Dante and French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby offer further strength in depth. Kevin Ryan's promising juvenile Flaming Spear is among 21 entries for the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York on Wednesday.

The well-regarded Qatar Racing-owned youngster was an impressive winner on his debut on the Knavesmire and holds major entries later in the season.

Jim Bolger has entered Hall Of Fame, who beat the highly-rated John F Kennedy at Leopardstown last month, and O'Brien's Jamaica represent Irish interests.

Richard Hannon's Basateen, who won by eight lengths on his second start, and stablemate Burnt Sugar are likely to be major players.