Dual Derby winner Australia
conquered older opponents with consummate ease Aug. 20 at York, winning the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) by two lengths from The Grey Gatsby
After settling at the back of the field in the early running, the son of Galileo ranged up outside rivals with a quarter-mile to run and cruised to victory under a modicum of effort as Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-I, French Derby) victor The Grey Gatsby pursued in vain. Harwicke Stakes (Eng-II) winner Telescope finished third in seeking a top-level breakthrough.
Leading up to the race, trainer Aidan O'Brien expressed slight concerns abou Australia's fitness—he had gained considerable weight in the 53 days since winning the June 28 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I). But the colt easily accelerated when called on by Joseph O'Brien and was much the best in his first test against his elders.
Australia's stablemate Kingfisher
dashed out to lead early under Seamus Heffernan, with a keen Mukhadram
just in behind on the outside and an eager Arod
tracking on the rail in close attendance followed by Telescope. The Grey Gatsby kept Australia company at the back of the field.
With O'Brien winding up on Australia with three-eighths to run, Mukhadram asserted himself and moved to lead two furlongs out, but it evaporated in another furlong when Australia launched his rally.
Telescope moved to challenge Mukhadram for command and edged to second, but The Grey Gatsby flew past to snatch the place in the final 75 yards.
Australia covered 1 1/4 miles on good to firm turf in 2:07.35 to take his record to 5-1-1 from seven career starts that include his victory in the June 7 Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I) and the Irish Derby.
"He was ready for a racecourse gallop, that was where he was at," Aidan O'Brien told England's Press Association about Australia, who was freshened after the Irish classic. "There's such prize money here (£800,000) and it's such a prestigious race that it's very hard to gallop him at a racecourse rather than bring him here.
"The impressive thing about this horse is that he has a lot of speed, he travels very strong. Joseph nursed him down the straight.
"The lads (Coolmore and partners) will decide what's next, but we had in our head to come here and then Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes, Ire-I, Sept. 13) if everything went well."
With Wednesday's victory, Australia earned an automatic berth in the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) later this year at Santa Anita Park
as part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win & You're In" series.
Bred in Great Britain by Lord Derby's Stanley Estate Co., Australia was produced from U.S. and European champion Ouija Board, by Cape Cross.
Acting for Coolmore and partners, Demi O'Byrne acquired the colt for 525,000 guineas ($841,313) at the 2012 Tattersalls October yearling sale, where the colt was offered in the elite Book 1 catalog. Watership Down Stud, acting as agent, consigned. The colt is campaigned in partnership with Malaysian architect Teo Ah Khing.