Australia wins the Epsom Derby
Aidan O'Brien made history as Australia completed a hat-trick for the trainer in the Investec Derby at Epsom.
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The Master of Ballydoyle had won the two previous renewals with Camelot and Ruler Of The World but had heaped praise on the 2000 Guineas third by hailing him as the best he had ever trained.
Trading at odds-on in the ante-post markets just 10 days ago, the Galileo colt had drifted to odds against about whether he would live up to his illustrious breeding - his dam is brilliant Oaks winner Ouija Board - and whether the forecast rain would blunt his natural speed.
His supporters need not have feared as he moved through the race as easily as his reputation suggested he would with jockey Joseph O'Brien leaving nothing to chance, content to hold a position on the outside of the field.
Main market rival Kingston Hill had a perfect pitch in third behind outsiders Kingfisher and Our Channel but O'Brien edged closer around Tattenham Corner, keeping his rival in his sights.
The two pulled effortlessly clear of the chasing pack and, try as he might, Kingston Hill was no match for Australia who looks every inch the superstar.
The winning margin was a length and a quarter with a further three and a quarter lengths back to Romsdal in third with Arod fourth.
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.
"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."
Sky Bet cut the winner to 5/1 from 8/1 for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, spokesman Michael Shinners saying: “The accusation has always been there’s more hype than substance in the formbook about Australlia but that all changed at Epsom.
"Along with Kingston Hill he pulled clear of what looked a deep field and it will be fascinating to see where connections go with him.”
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."
Gosden saddled two, with Romsdal's third bettering that of much-fancied stablemate Western Hymn in sixth.
"Romsdal ran a great race, he looks like a St Leger type to me," said Gosden. "Yet again the Guineas form has come to the fore, it was obviously a very strong race. Kingman, The Grey Gatsby and now Australia have won the last three Classics since running at Newmarket.
"Western Hymn met a bit of trouble, which you'd expect at a place like this with a big field. I think a more conventional track will suit him better, but we picked up sixth-place prize-money and covered our expenses.
"The time was well inside standard, so it was a very good renewal. The right horse has won."
After his Inchila finished fourth in the Oaks on Friday, Arod filled the same position for Peter Chapple-Hyam.
"I'm delighted. That was really his first proper race, he's still a big child, but he's getting there," said Chapple-Hyam.
"He was trained for one day, and that's it. Jamie (Spencer) said he'd have liked to be a bit closer and he struggled a bit going down hill. I was the only one wanting it (ground) to be as fast as possible!
"He'll have a break now, and I think next year he'll be an even better horse."
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