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Joseph: I will make weight for the Juddmonte International

Joseph O'Brien believes he can manage the 8st 12lb required to ride Australia in Wednesday's Juddmonte International at York.

Should the jockey's father Aidan give the Investec Derby winner the go-ahead for the Knavesmire, Australia would be dropping back two furlongs from his most recent appearance in the Irish Derby.

Two years ago, O'Brien jnr had to miss the ride on Camelot in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe because he could not manage 8st 11lb.

After winning on Qualify at Dundalk, when he put up 1lb overweight on a horse scheduled to carry 9st, the jockey was asked about Australia. He said: "I can do the weight."

O'Brien was this morning declared on Australia for Wednesday's Group One which has attracted a field of six runners and if he manages to do the 8st12lbs it will be the first time he has made the weight since May 2012 when riding Astrology in the Dee Stakes at Chester.

Trainer and father Aidan O'Brien commented yesterday; "The plan is (Australia) will be declared if the ground looks ok in the morning and if everything is ok then he will be declared to run.

"He has done very well in his mid-season break and he is ready to go. I would imagine he will come on for it.

"Joseph is able to do 8st 12lb. We don't let him do it as a rule, although he has done it last year and he will do it when he needs to. We'll leave the decision to him."

Described by Aidan as the best horse that he has ever trained, it is little surprise that Joseph was keen to make the weight on the three-year-old who will be taking on the older horses for the first time in the £800,000 contest.

Heading the opposition is the Sir Michael Stoute trained Telescope who will be ridden by Ryan Moore after Moore was on standby to take the mount on dual Derby winner Australia had O'Brien not been able to attempt 8st12lbs.

Richard Hughes, who was due to ride Telescope if Moore couldn't, has picked up the spare ride on Dante Stakes and Prix du Jockey Club winner The Grey Gatsby for Kevin Ryan.

Reverting back to 10-furlongs after contesting the King George over a mile and a half is the Coral-Eclipse winner Mukhadram, while Arod and Australia's stable companion Kingfisher complete the field.

Meanwhile, Kingston Hill heads the field in Wednesday's Great Voltigeur Stakes also on the opening day of the Eboe meeting at York and Paddy Power make the Epsom Derby runner-up the 6/4 favourite.

Paul Hanagan warmed up for the 
four-day Ebor Festival when landing a double on his comeback from injury at Pontefract.

The dual champion jockey made a successful return on Imshivalla (5-2) for trainer Richard Fahey, for whom he used to be stable jockey, in the CGC Events For Conference & Banqueting Handicap.

He made all of the running as the three-year-old filly swept to her third win over a mile at the course this season, beating Lockhart by two and a half lengths. "I'm just glad to be back," said Hanagan.


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