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Australia 1/4 for Irish Champion Stakes victory

Aidan O’Brien’s dual Derby winner Australia has been installed as the clear 1/4 favourite with Coral for Saturday’s Qipco Irish Champion Stakes, following today’s entry stage for the Leopardstown Group 1 contest.

The Grey Gatsby is the firm’s 6/1 second favourite, ahead of Noble Mission at 9/1 and Magician at 10/1.

Australia ran a blinder to finish third in the 2,000 Guineas on seasonal reappearance at Newmarket, and relished the step up to 1m 4f when beating Kingston Hill by a 1 1/4 lengths in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

The son of Galileo travelled supremely well throughout the contest, and after cruising into contention two from home only had to be ridden out after taking up the running entering the final furlong to score with far more in hand than the winning margin suggests.

It was a performance which oozed class, and Australia then duly followed up in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh when cruising home to beat stable companion Kingfisher by 2 1/2 lengths without having to break sweat.

Australia then put in a scintillating performance last time out when tackling 1m 2f for the first time in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York, travelling well throughout and quickening smartly to beat The Grey Gatsby by two lengths.

Coral’s Nicola McGeady said: “The rematch with The Grey Gatsby is on, but as far as we’re concerned he will have to improve considerably to beat Australia, who looks on course to record his fourth consecutive Group 1 victory.”

Irish Champion Stakes – Full Coral betting:
1/4 Australia, 6/1 The Grey Gatsby, 9/1 Noble Mission, 10/1 Magician, 10/1 Mukhadram, 12/1 Trading Leather, 16/1 Al Kazeem, 16/1 Adelaide, 33/1 Hall of Mirrors, 33/1 Parish Hall, 66/1 Alkasser, 66/1 Kingfisher