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Investec Derby: Australia enhances classic claims

The much-hyped Australia may have finished only third in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, but his reputation didn’t suffer in any way and he is now the rock solid 6/4 favourite (from 7/4) with Coral for the Investec Derby.

Aidan O’Brien’s colt ran on strongly at the business end of affairs in the 1m contest to go down by just 3/4 of a length to Night Of Wonder, shaping as if he could be a potential star over middle distances.

The son of Galileo, whose sire won the Derby and his dam the Oaks, was forced to do to make his move to early at headquarters as the race split into two groups and there was plenty to like about the way he knuckled down and stuck to the task.

Given that he is bred to come into his own over middle distances, it was a highly creditable effort from Australia to finish so close to Night Of Thunder and the runner-up Kingman who are bred to be far speedier and were ideally suited by the mile trip.

O’Brien, who has saddled the winner of the Derby four times since 2001, including the last two runnings with Camelot and Ruler of the World, was certainly very upbeat after the contest about his chances at Epsom.

The Ballydoyle handler is also reported to be “very happy” with the way Australia has come out of the race, and is not planning another run him before Epsom.

Another horse attracting support for the Derby on Saturday, June 7th, is True Story.

The colt is in to 11/2 (from 7s) with Coral and likely to be partnered by Kieren Fallon.

Fallon, who rode Night Of Thunder to victory in the 2000 Guineas, is set to partner the Saeed bin Suroor trained colt for the first time in the Dante Stakes at York as part of a new link-up with Godolphin.

The Boys in Blue are keen to use the six-time champion as much as possible alongside retained rider Silvestre de Sousa, and the fact that he partners the impressive Feilden Stakes winner in what is recognised as a key Derby trial suggests he will be in the saddle at Epsom if True Story comes through the test with flying colours.