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The 16/1 shot to take on Australia with in the Investec Derby

| 02.06.2014

With less than a week to go until the Investec Derby at Epsom, Aidan O’Brien’s 2000 Guineas-third Australia heads the betting at 11/10, as he has since his stout run at Newmarket, but the woeful record market leaders boast in recent years makes the Galileo colt one to swerve.

Only one of the last six jollies for the Flat season’s showpiece event have managed to land favourite odds, and while that was 8/13 O’Brien poke Camelot in 2012, Fame and Glory and Jan Vermeer have both gone down to defeat in the last half-decade having been backed off the boards.

Australia fits the hard-and-fast requirement of winning over 7f as a two-year-old, as each of the last 12 Derby winners have done, although it took him two attempts after being turned over on debut at 1/1.

The trainer’s son Joseph’s likely mount also ticks the group-race winners box, like 11 of the past 12 Epsom victors, having romped to a six-length success over Dermot Weld hot-pot Free Eagle in a Leapordstown Group 3 last September.

So far, so favourable for the fancied O’Brien inmate, who shaped like he needed the extra distance when chasing home Night of Thunder and Kingman at Newmarket, but the fact that Australia lost last time out is a huge negative, as eight of the past 12 Derby winners went into the race on the back of a victory.

That statistic, combined with Epsom’s favourites-graveyard status, should be enough to convince O’Brien followers to switch horses, and the Ballydoyle handler has a nag within his ranks who ticks all the right squares.

Orchestra eased to victory over 7f in Tipperary as a two-year-old and held off John Gosden’s Romsdal to take the Group 3 Chester Vase under Ryan Moore in May.

He matches all of the other Derby-winning trends, from packing in a run within the last 35 days to managing one or two assignments so far this season (one, in this case).

At 16/1, Orchestra looks by far the best value to bring up a Derby three-in-a-row for O’Brien over Australia or 6/1 chance Geoffrey Chaucer, who finished a disappointing third of six in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leapordstown last month.

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

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Alex Fortune