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Australia's day at Epsom as O'Brien makes Derby history

Updated: Saturday, 07 Jun 2014 16:54 | Comments

Australia ridden by Joseph O'Brien wins the Investec Derby from Kingston Hill at Epsom
Australia ridden by Joseph O'Brien wins the Investec Derby from Kingston Hill at Epsom

Australia lived up to the hype when giving Aidan O'Brien his third successive Investec Derby at Epsom, making the Ballydoyle trainer the first to saddle the Derby winner three years in a row.

Third in the Qipco 2000 Guineas off the back of O'Brien's claims the regally-bred colt is the best horse he has ever trained, the son of Galileo travelled beautifully throughout.

Having hit the front over a furlong out the 11-8 favourite kicked clear of Kingston Hill and while it looked like he may go away and win by further, he still had a length and a quarter to spare from Roger Varian's gallant runner-up.

John Gosden's Romsdal outran his 20-1 price to finish third, another three and a quarter lengths away.

By a Derby winner in Galileo out of an Oaks winner in Ouija Board, the blue riband Classic was the race Australia was destined to win.

Joseph O'Brien looked confident throughout on the chestnut, sitting on the outside of the 16-runner field in mid-division.

He moved into contention so stylishly, having come down the famous hill without a hitch.

Andrea Atzeni gave Kingston Hill every chance and took over at the head of affairs with a quarter of a mile to run, but in truth he always looked a sitting duck for the market leader.

The placed horses from the Dante, Arod and True Story, were just behind the main protagonists with Red Galileo running a massive race, too.

The major disappointment was the winner's stablemate Geoffrey Chaucer, who was tailed off.

Winning rider O'Brien said: "I had a grand position and was going very easily coming down hill, nearly too easy.

"I got there a bit too soon, I was cantering all the way – I got there too soon but I had to stay going when I did.

Winning rider O'Brien said: "I had a grand position and was going very easily coming down hill, nearly too easy.

"I got there a bit too soon, I was cantering all the way – I got there too soon but I had to stay going when I did.

"Horses don't come easier to ride than this fellow - he's the best (I've ridden)."

Aidan O'Brien said: "We're in a very privileged position to have the horses we have, so it's thanks to everybody. There are so many people involved just to get him to this position.

"Joseph had it in his mind where he wanted to be all the time, to keep it uncomplicated and safe and that is what he did – he gave him a beautiful ride.

"The way he travelled through the race he must be very special" - Aidan O'Brien on comments Australia

"We said what we thought [about him being best Flat horse O'Brien has trained]. Maybe it is best to say nothing, but we've always thought he was very special – the way he is bred makes him very special.

"The way he travelled through the race he must be very special.

"We're going through a tricky time with our horses back home, they were very sick in the spring and they all had to get medicated. It was tricky training them after that, some were slower to respond.

"The lads (Coolmore) will speak about targets. He has a lot of options because he has a lot of pace, anything from a mile up."

The winner ran in the colours of Derrick Smith, part of the Coolmore triumvirate, and Kingston Hill is owned by his son, Paul, who said: "I'm delighted, dad can pick up the bill tonight!

"I always knew what they thought of Australia, but our horse has run a great race."

Varian said of Kingston Hill: "I'm really pleased. Andrea gave him a great ride and had him in a good position throughout.

"He had every chance to win and we really served it up to him. He has run a great race without winning.

"The winner looks very good, so I'm absolutely thrilled.

"For his first ride in the Derby Andrea did everything right, he's a pretty relaxed boy.

"We'll just have to see if we take him on again, Aidan may drop him back to 10 furlongs but I think the Curragh (Irish Derby) would suit our horse – we'll just digest everything, he's had a hard race there.

"I'm sure they'll meet again at some stage."

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