By Simon Jackson.
Australia is into 4-6 from 6-5 for the Investec Derby with Betfred after leading hope True Story was beaten into third place by The Grey Gatsby in the Betfred Dante Stakes.
The winner was settled in the midfield by jockey Ryan Moore before challenging two furlongs out. He hung sharply right in the closing stages, slightly hampering 8-13 favourite True Story, and was forced to survive a stewards’ enquiry before he was declared the winner.
The Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Arod was second and Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths believes that Australia now has a great chance of securing another Derby for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
“The stage was set for True Story to inject some life into the Derby market, but The Grey Gatsby tore up the script,” Griffiths said.
“Legitimate Derby contenders are thin on the ground and the race appears to be Australia’s for the taking.”
Meanwhile the winner is set to bypass Epsom in favour of the French Derby.
“The Grey Gatsby is in the French Derby so that is I think probably where we will be heading,” winning trainer Kevin Ryan said.
“He is a horse that has got a lot of speed. He ran very, very well in the 2000 Guineas. I just felt that he could be a good mile and a quarter horse or a good mile and a half horse. They have to have speed and he has got the trip and he has done it well.
“I was very happy when Ryan had him switched off 10 strides from leaving the stalls. I thought ‘there will be no excuses if he doesn’t get the trip’.
“I am delighted for this horse and I am delighted for Frank [Gillespie – owner]. He is a fantastic owner and he is very enthusiastic and he puts his money in every year and he allows us to buy him some nice horses and it is great to have a horse like this for him.”
Moore said: “He’s travelled lovely in third and we’ve started racing a long way from home. When he got to the front he hung right but he’s done very well.
Investec Derby – (Betfred): 4/6 Australia, 10 Geoffrey Chaucer, True Story, Western Hymn, 12 Kingston Hill, 14 Fascinating Rock, Orchestra, 16 Arod, Ectot, Snow Sky, 20 Bunker, Ebanoran, Karakontie, 25 bar. (Each way 1/4 1-2-3)
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