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8 Apr 2014

Australian dominance

Horse racing trainer Aiden O’Brien described his horse Australia as “the best we’ve ever had”, which is a very lofty statement when you consider that he has also trained L’Arc and Ascot winner Dylan Thomas and Epsom Derby and 2000 Guineas winner Camelot. So, just how big a season is Australia going to have this year?

By all accounts it is going to be a massive year. The horse is the 9/4 favourite with Paddy Power for the 2000 Guineas and 5/2 favourite with the Irish bookmaker to reign supreme in the Epsom Derby. In less than 12 months’ time this horse could already have reached legendary status.

We caught a glimpse of the horse in Curragh where the colt was part of the Ballydoyle stables training session at the Curragh post-race. As a juvenile, the horse won two of its three starts, the highlight being a six-length victory in a Leapardstown group.

Curragh gave us a glimpse of Australia and that is all we will have until the Guineas; O’Brien does not want to run the horse before Newmarket, as they do not want to race him on bad ground. The horse is “a beautiful mover” and they won’t want to risk injury on poor ground.

The hype surrounding the horse is huge and with O’Brien’s comment this hype has been increased tenfold. For the Ballydoyle trainer to speak so glowingly about Australia then you have to take note. He’s trained dominant horses before and if he believes that Australia has the talent then Australia has the talent.

Of course nothing is set in stone in horse racing and many horses often fail to live up to expectations, but the gut feeling in the racing world is that this horse is going to make it.