06/28/2014 2:09PM

Australia wins uncompetitive Irish Derby


Australia gave trainer Aidan O’Brien his 11th career win in the Irish Derby at The Curragh on Saturday, a race that lacked a competitive feel.

Australia was the 1-8 favorite against four rivals in the $1,687,500 Irish Derby and was not tested, winning by 2 1/2 lengths over stablemate Kingfisher. Another O’Brien-trained runner, Orchesta, finished third, followed by Ponfeigh and Fascinating Rock.

Australia was ridden by the trainer’s son Joseph, who gave the colt a confident ride. In the stretch, O’Brien looked over both of his shoulders at the competition, checking for rivals who could post a threat. Australia ran 1 1/2 miles in 2:33.19.

The job was made easier for Australia after Kingston Hill, second to Australia in the English Derby on June 7, was scratched by trainer Roger Varian after the turf course at The Curragh was rated as good. Varian had hoped for rain to soften the course.

Australia, owned by a partnership that includes Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor, is by Galileo out of Ouija Board, the winner of the 2004 and 2006 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. Australia has won four of six starts.

In a post-race interview, Aidan O’Brien mentioned the Irish Champion Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf against older horses at Leopardstown on Sept. 13 as a potential target for Australia.

O’Brien won the Irish Derby for the first time in 1997, and in 2001-02 and from 2006-12.