History was made at Epsom today with the Aidan O’Brien-trained Australia delivering on all expectations to win the Investec Derby in resounding style. In the process, he created a remarkable piece of history for his trainer, with Aidan O’Brien becoming the first trainer in the 235-year history of the great race to saddle the winner three times in succession.
The regally-bred three-year-old had been billed by O’Brien as “a Derby horse we’ve not had the likes of before” and he went a long way to proving that to be the case in recording an impressive 1¼ lengths victory under his 21-year-old jockey Joseph O’Brien. Aidan and Joseph had become the first-ever father-and-son team to win the Derby when teaming up with Camelot in 2012 and they repeated the feat in just as taking style with Australia.
As his sire Galileo had in the Derby and his dam Ouija Board had in the Oaks, Australia handled the unique test of Epsom supremely well and those that had supported the 11/8 favourite had very few anxious moments. He is now firmly established as the leader of his generation in the middle-distance division and hopes will be high that he will return to Ireland later this month to contest the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland said: “To win the Investec Derby three years in a row is a remarkable feat and a fantastic achievement for leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien. Well done to Aidan, Joseph and all of the team at Ballydoyle. Australia’s inspiring win today at Epsom underlines the strength of Irish Flat racing and enhances our reputation around the world. We look forward to showcasing our talent at home during Irish Champions Weekend in September, which will be the greatest concentration of quality flat racing ever staged in Ireland.”
Australia’s success today makes him the fifth Irish-trained winner of the Investec Derby in the last seven years. In addition to Aidan O’Brien’s treble, John Oxx trained Sea The Stars to win the Derby in 2009 and New Approach won for Jim Bolger back in 2008.