Australia is now just 4/1 with Ladbrokes to win this year’s Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe following a resounding Irish Derby victory at the Curragh last weekend.
It may have been a weak renewal but take nothing away from Aidan O’Brien’s stable star.
Having gone off as the 1/8 favourite he comfortably raced clear for a two-and-a-half length victory over stablemate Kingfisher to secure an 11th Irish Derby win for his trainer.
And with the son of Galileo now completing a classic double after his exploits at Epsom, attention has turned towards the question of his next possible assignments.
Quotes attributed to O’Brien suggest he will opt to run his charge over shorter distances in future.
Following the Irish Derby O’Brien told reporters: “I would love to go back to a mile and a quarter now. I would love to run in the Champion Stakes (Leopardstown), or the Juddmonte (York), all those kind of races are open to him.”
Enthusiasm for an Arc de Triomphe assault is also tempered by cautiousness over what the ground will be like at Longchamp in October.
If there’s plenty of cut then Australia’s handler is unlikely to want his mount to take a chance in France’s mile-and-a-half showpiece.
However, should the turf in Paris remain relatively dry into the early autumn then Australia could line-up for an audacious Arc bid.
There’s no doubt that should Australia go on to secure victory in France it would represent a fitting end to his three-year-old-career.
It takes a special horse to complete a hat-trick of wins in the Derby, its Irish equivalent and then the Prix de L’arc de Triomphe, a trio which would confirm Australia’s status as a true middle-distance champion.
The path to Paris certainly isn’t clear.
But once the remainder of this summer’s tasks are completed don’t be too surprised to see Australia aiming to become O’Brien’s second Prix de L’arc de Triomphe winner after Dylan Thomas achieved the feat in 2007.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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