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The horse that should be backed against Australia for Epsom Derby

| 16.05.2014

Comments from Aidan O’Brien that Australia is the best horse that he has ever trained certainly can’t be taken lightly and have to be fully respected.

Throw in that both his parents are Classic winners over 1m4f, with Galileo winning the Epsom Derby and Ouija Board the Epsom Oaks, and it is clear why he is being backed off the boards.

But, the question has to be asked whether Australia should be as short as 4/5 in the Epsom Derby betting, with his biggest victory to date coming in a Group 3 contest and having finished third in the 2,000 Guineas?

Granted, his regal middle-distance pedigree suggests that a step up to the Derby trip should see Australia at his best and the majority of recognised Derby trials have flattered to deceive in throwing him a serious challenger.

However, with the second favourite as big as 12/1, there is unquestionably some each-way value to be snapped up at worst.

It is worth noting that nine of the last 10 Derby winners had triumphed in the highest grade that they had competed in, which is a negative against Australia.

Western Hymn is the alternative, with Ladbrokes offering the top industry price at 14/1.

Unbeaten in all three career starts, John Gosden’s charge was still arguably a bit green when making slightly hard work of winning a Group 3 at Sandown last time, but this was on soft ground and did involve him hitting the front sooner than ideal.

In his race previous on firmer going at Newbury, Western Hymn was far more impressive when defeating Lingfield Derby Trial winner Snow Sky, putting the race to bed in a matter of strides.

A solid early pace at Epsom will certainly aid his cause and if the rain stays away, there is every chance that Western Hymn will show a similarly electrifying turn of foot that brought victories in his first two starts.

The big negative is that Gosden hasn’t trained a Derby winner since Benny The Dip in 1997 and all six of his runners in the past decade have not even managed to make the places.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.