- Created on Monday, 21 July 2014 08:15
The 2011 son of a Derby winner (GALILEO) out of an Oaks winner, the beautiful OUIJA BOARD, this striking chestnut colt has always had huge shoes to fill and wow, hasn't he done just that?!
The inaugural running of the Epsom Derby was held in 1780, the race named after the 12th Earl of Derby who subsequently recorded his first win in the race in 1787 with a horse named SIR PETER TEAZLE. How fitting it should be that one of the most exciting horses coming into the 2014 renewal of the race should be AUSTRALIA, bred by the current Earl of Derby at Stanley House Stud, out of his Oaks winning mare OUIJA BOARD.
GALILEO, HIGH CHAPARRAL, CAMELOT and RULER OF THE WORLD, four previous Epsom Derby winners from the powerful stable of Aidan O'Brien. With the unpredictability of racing and horses as it is, would it be possible that AUSTRALIA could provide Ballydoyle with a fifth win in the race? Previously hailed by O'Brien as the best he has ever trained, huge pressure was mounting on the horse who would surely provide the most fairytale story, should he be successful. Shrugging that off like a true Champion, AUSTRALIA smoothly cruised away from the other 15 runners to provide the Derby family and Stanley House Stud with a victory that most people simply only ever dream of.
Not content with only winning ONE Derby, AUSTRALIA followed up at the Curragh with a scintillating win in the Irish equivalent. Justifying the odds of 1/8 favouritism, the 2011 OUIJA BOARD colt cruised to an easy victory over his four rivals. The ease of his most recent success has lead to Aiden O'Brien having to defend the Irish derby, following several critics voicing the opinion that it was now too easy - perhaps this is because the horse was simply just too good?!
It's not easy to put into words what it means to a small stud like Stanley House to have such a connection with a Derby winner, and to have his dam, sister and, until very recently, his younger brother still standing on the premises is truly incredible. Congratulations must go not only to Ballydoyle and his current owners, but must also be extended to the team at home at Stanley House. Without the hard work and dedication of the staff here, nurturing such a fantastic animal would be indescribably difficult.
Regular jockey Joesph O'Brien is adamant that the best is yet to come from AUSTRALIA, but with future plans currently undecided for the star colt, I think it is safe to say that wherever he goes, he is most definitely not "down under"!