/ Racing

Australia heads 11 remaining in Irish Derby at the Curragh

Updated: Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014 17:20 | Comments

Kingston Hill, second to Australia in the Derby, could reoppose the Epsom hero at the Curragh
Kingston Hill, second to Australia in the Derby, could reoppose the Epsom hero at the Curragh

Australia is one of seven possibles for Aidan O'Brien in Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

The impressive Epsom winner is likely to be a very warm order to emulate his former stablemate Camelot who completed the Classic double two years ago.

While O'Brien will be hoping the rain stays away for his new star, connections of Derby runner-up Kingston Hill will be hoping for showers to enable a rematch to take place.

O'Brien’s other entries are Geoffrey Chaucer, who went wrong at Epsom, Kingfisher, Mekong River, Orchestra, Table Rock and War Command.

“Australia is in good form and remains on course for Saturday’s race,” said a Ballydoyle spokesman this morning. 

“The chances are we will run three or four in the race.”

David Eustace, assistant to trainer Roger Varian, confirmed that the going would play a major factor in the Kremlin House's team decision to run Kingston Hill.

"We're looking at the weather," revealed Eustace.

"They are saying they could get up to 15 millimetres of rain and if that was the case, we'd love to run if we got good ground or easier." 

Dermot Weld's Fascinating Rock, eighth at Epsom and Godolphin's True Story, one place in front of him could renew rivalry.

“Fascinating Rock has done really well since Epsom,” Weld said recently.

“The horse just didn’t handle the track that day and we expect a better showing from him on Saturday.”

John Oxx's lightly-raced but progressive Ponfeigh is also in the mix.

“Ponfeigh has had two quick runs but he is in good order and will take his chance in Saturday’s race,” said Oxx.

“We have always liked this horse and he has a nice turn of foot. Obviously the step up in grade and trip is unknown territory for him but on form he is entitled to take his chance.”

Among those taken out were Derby fourth Arod, Ebanoran and Hydrogen.

Watch live TV coverage from the Curragh, including the 5.25pm Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Saturday 28 June, RTÉ 1 and RTÉ.ie, Ireland only, 3.30pm)

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