JOCKEY Joseph O’Brien has given Investec Derby favourite Australia a glowing recommendation despite his mount drifting in the betting yesterday.
Australia, trained by O’Brien’s father Aidan, eased from odds-on to odds-against with some bookmakers four days before Saturday’s Classic at Epsom. But Aidan, who is bidding to repeat the father-and-son Derby success of 2012 when he piloted Camelot to glory, is supremely confident in the son of 2001 winner Galileo.
“Ever since he came into the yard and started working he’s always been a good horse,” he said. “He’s bred to stay the trip, handle the track and win the Derby which is what you need going to Epsom. You need to have a horse with pace, balance and that will get the trip.”
Meanwhile, Kevin Manning has been preferred to 2011 Derby-winning jockey Mickael Barzalona to ride Sudden Wonder, one of four Godolphin horses entered.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said Manning had got the nod due to his own experience of Epsom, notably a Derby success aboard Sudden Wonder’s sire, New Approach, in 2008.
Rising star Oisin Murphy has been booked to make his Derby debut aboard the Ed Dunlop-trained outsider Red Galileo.
Apprentice jockey Murphy, 18, only made his racing bow last year and made the headlines in September when he rode four winners on Ayr Gold Cup day.
City A.M., the official paper of the Investec Derby, will publish a special edition for racegoers on Saturday, available at Epsom Racecourse.