, third in the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) last month, is the favorite for the Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I), which will have its 236th running June 7.
The 1 1/2-mile classic attracted 16 entrants and carries a £1,379,500 purse, making it the richest in Great Britain.
A son of 2001 Epsom Derby winner Galileo and 2004 Oaks (Eng-I) Ouija Board, Australia finished a close third on his seasonal debut in the first classic of the season, the Two Guineas May 3 over a mile at Newmarket. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, he is the even-money favorite with bookmakers Coral.
O'Brien is seeking his third consecutive Investec Derby success and fifth in all, winning with Ruler Of the World
last year, Camelot
in 2012, High Chaparral
in 2002, and Galileo the previous year.
Australia is one of four runners for O'Brien, joining Chester Vase winner Orchestra
(16-1, by Galileo), Dee Stakes winner Kingfisher
(50-1, by Galileo), and Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (Ire-III) third Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer is a half brother to prominent sire Shamardal, winner of the Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-I, French Derby) and Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr-I, French Two Thousand Guineas, and is from the penultimate crop of Montjeu, who has sired four of the last nine Investec Derby winners.
At 2, the colt won a three-runner mile maiden at Leopardstown last July and took the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Eng-II), also over a mile Sept. 29 at the Curragh to finish the year. His 2014 debut May 11 resulted in a third behind Derby entrants Fascinating Rock
(12-1, by Fastnet Rock
) and Ebanoran
(16-1, by Oasis Dream
) in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.
John Gosden, who won the 1997 Derby with Benny The Dip, has Western Hymn
(14-1). The son of High Chaparral
is unbeaten in three career starts, most recently capturing the bet365 Classic Trial (Eng-III) April 25 from Derby entrant Impulsive Moment
(100-1, by Galileo) at Sandown Park.
Gosden also trains Princess Haya's close Chester Vase runner-up Romsdal (16-1), a son of Halling who was supplemented at a cost of £75,000 ($126,142 in United States funds).
Last season's Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) winner Kingston Hill
and impressive Feilden Stakes victor True Story
also are entered. Both are pegged at 10-1.
Kingston Hill, a son of Mastercraftsman
, will look to rebound from his eighth in the Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket on his seasonal return for Roger Varian, who trains for Paul Smith. Godolphin's True Story, by Manduro
, was third behind subsequent French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby,
and Epsom Derby entrant Arod
) in the Dante Stakes at York May 15. True Story is trained by Saeed bin Suroor.
Godolphin has two other runners in Sudden Wonder
(New Approach) and Pinzolo
(by Monsun), both trained by Charlie Appleby. Sudden Wonder (66-1) was most recently third in the Betfred.com Derby Trial May 10 at Lingfield, and Pinzolo (50-1) comes in off a win in the listed Fairway Stakes May 17 at Newmarket.
Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I), 3YO, 1 1/2 miles, turf
No. PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. 3. Arod, Jamie Spencer, Peter Chapple-Hyam
2. 12. Australia, Joseph O'Brien, Aidan O'Brien
3. 6. Ebanoran, Declan McDonough, John Oxx
4. 15. Fascinating Rock, Pat Smullen, Dermot Weld
5. 7. Geoffrey Chaucer, Ryan Moore, Aidan O'Brien
6. 5. Impulsive Moment, David Probert, Andrew Balding
7. 16. Kingfisher, Colm O'Donoghue, Aidan O'Brien
8. 2. Kingston Hill, Andrea Atzeni, Roger Varian
9. 14. Orchestra, Seamus Heffernan, Aidan O'Brien
10. 10. Our Channel, Silvestre De Sousa, William Haggas
11. 4. Pinzolo, James Doyle, Charlie Appleby
12. 8. Red Galileo, Oisin Murphy, Ed Dunlop
13. 11. Romsdal, Richard Hughes, John Gosden
14. 9. Sudden Wonder, Kevin Manny, Charlie Appleby
15. 1. True Story, Kieren Fallon, Saeed bin Suroor
16. 13. Western Hymn, William Buick, John Gosden
All assigned carry 126 pounds.