By Simon Jackson.
Aidan O’Brien has mooted the Irish Champion Stakes as a possible target for Australia after his emphatic victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.
Victory for the winner of this year’s Investec Derby was never in doubt as he travelled off the pace in the €1.25million contest that was reduced to five runners after the withdrawal of Epsom runner-up Kingston Hill and Geoffrey Chaucer.
Australia eased to the front two furlongs out for Joseph O’Brien and was far too good for his opponents as he scored by two and a half lengths from stablemate Kingfisher. Third placed Orchestra completed a 1-2-3 for O’Brien.
“He is very unusual in that he has so much speed and class,” O’Brien said. “He’d be very comfortable back at a mile but for him to get a mile and a half the way he does is incredible. He just relaxes, pace is a big thing and he is some traveller,” the Coolmore website reports.
“A mile is no problem to him and that’s what makes him very special. Very early on as a two-year-old, he did four 11-second furlongs working half speed and that’s very hard to do but he was able to do it at a very early stage so obviously the class was in there.
“I’d love to go for the Group1 Irish Champion Stakes as he’s made for it, and you’d love to go back to a mile and a quarter with him. The lads [owners] will decide that but maybe he’ll have a little rest now.”
The manner of the victory also impressed Joseph O’Brien: “This is a very special horse, he was an armchair ride,” the younger O’Brien said. “He has a massive engine and we still haven’t seen the best of this horse. I’d love to ride him at a mile and a quarter – I think that’s going to be his thing on fast ground.
“His attitude and his pace sets him apart from the others. He’s a great mover and he’s so well balanced. When I walked him down to the barn and came back before the race for the parade, he’d have stayed asleep.”
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