Timeform go International

  • Last Updated: August 18 2014, 17:23 BST

Timeform have Aidan O’Brien’s Australia rated only narrowly ahead of Mukhadram and Telescope in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Wednesday

No wonder Joseph O'Brien is all smiles
No wonder Joseph O'Brien is all smiles

However, the ratings experts still expect the dual Derby winner to pass his latest test with flying colours.

Australia has fully lived up to his lofty reputation this year, finishing a close third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket before landing the Derby at Epsom in impressive fashion and easily following up in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh.

On the back of those victories, Australia is just 1lb higher than his older rivals Mukhadram and Telescope on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings, but he retains the Timeform ‘p’ symbol indicating that he remains capable of better and Chief Correspondent Jamie Lynch is expecting big things from him.

“Australia has the potential to make the leap from current great to all-time great, and there’s a feeling within Timeform that the intermediate trip of a mile and a quarter, which he tackles for the first time at York, will be the springboard for him scaling even greater heights in ratings terms," he said.

"It’s unusual for a dual Derby winner to have competition for the spotlight, and both Kingman and Taghrooda have achieved something special this summer, but Australia could easily outrank them both if he turns it on in the International over prospectively his best distance.”

Telescope and Mukhadram finished second and third respectively behind the Oaks winner Taghrooda in the King George at Ascot last time and will once again struggle to give weight away to a progressive three-year-old according to Lynch.

“Both Telescope and Mukhadram are now established Group One performers, but the King George proved that they’re vulnerable to a star three-year-old, which is exactly what Australia is," he continued.

"The presence of such solid older horses makes this a big test for him, but Australia has risen to every challenge so far and he looks to have the firepower to run to the sort of 130+ rating that would put him in an elite bracket of active racehorses.”     

Juddmonte International (all ratings weight-adjusted)

137p AUSTRALIA, 136 MUKHADRAM, 136 TELESCOPE, 131 THE GREY GATSBY, 125 KINGFISHER, 123 AROD