Australia winning The Derby from Kingston Hill.
Can he be beaten?
Mukhadram as a four year old struggled when mixing it at top level. His best performance was here last year over course and distance in the G2 York Stakes. Twice beaten by Al Kazeem in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and The Eclipse he’s a different horse at five. Maturity now means he an Eclipse winner himself and he can’t be easily dismissed here as a result. Stretched to the limit of his stamina in the King George he’s now back his favoured trip and he is the benchmark for a 10f test.
Telescope has touched the flame but failed to ignite it. You know it’s there, we saw it at Ascot in the Hardwicke yet there’s a question about his attitude. Twice behind Frankel’s brother Noble Mission this season is still reliable form but does he really want do it at top level?
The circumstance of the race plays a huge part, weight for age matters and the concession to the three year olds is significant at this stage of the season. The last three year old winner of The International was Sea The Stars. Testament to the difficulty of winning the race for the younger horse. You have to be top drawer to do as a three year old. It’s why Ballydoyle are keen to run, to establish a superstar.
The Grey Gatsby winner of the French Derby is in someway the forgotten horse. His last run in the Grand Prix De Paris told us he’s not a 12f horse but the Prix Du Jockey Club showed us his trip is this 10f. The French Derby hasn’t worked out too well with both the second and third also beaten since.
Arod another three year old was no match for Australia at Epsom but yet he remains’ somewhat of an unknown quantity. Peter Chapple-Hyam sent him to Leicester for a 9 L confidence booster over 10f in July which should have him cherry ripe for this.
And then there’s Kingfisher not to be treated as a mug, he’s there on merit. He was an impressive Dee Stakes winner at Chester and he proved himself behind Australia when beaten 2 1/2 L in the Irish Derby. He will most likely be sacrificed as the pacemaker but he may well be very difficult to pass.
The ground will be good to firm which is just what Australia will want. He’s had a mid season break and put on some weight since we last saw him at the Curragh. Aidan has informed us he has a question mark about his level of fitness and this prehaps is the only hole to be found in him. We know how he is viewed in the pantheon of all time Ballydoyle greats and his Derby win’s have confirmed it to the public eye. It could not have been any easier at the Curragh.
The older horses Mukhadram and Telescope will make sure this has to be won. Arod is bound to have come on since Epsom and will get closer while The Grey Gatsby has course experience when winning The Dante here. Kingfisher will ensure this a true test but even if Joseph has to carry a few pounds overweight to match the belly of his mount it’s most likely we’ll see Australia prevail.
Recommendation : Australia 8/11 win