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.
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 chance of Australia running in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on 13 September, O’Brien said: “I would say he was made for that race.”
Angel Gabrial justified strong support to give North Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey his first John Smith’s Northumberland Plate success at Newcastle.
Apprentice George Chaloner produced his mount to head the long-time leader Ardlui inside the final furlong and complete a Gosforth Park treble for Fahey.
The 4-1 favourite veered to the right close home, but he had plenty in hand as he reversed Chester Cup form with Suegioo (12-1), giving owner Dr Marwan Koukash a one-two in this valuable two-mile handicap.
The winning margin was three and a half lengths. Repeater (28-1) stayed on from last place to take third, some two and a half lengths away. Noble Silk (14-1) was fourth.
Chaloner, said: “He’s given me a peach of a ride round there. I just tried to let him settle and keep him happy. I couldn’t have wished for it to have gone any better. We didn’t want to get killed early on, but he’s travelled well and picked up lovely.”
Fahey said: ““It’s one of them races you want to put on your CV and it was never in doubt. He’s pretty talented and he does pick up. It looks like he’s just bitten his tongue so we’ll get him away now.”