The Investec Derby 2014
Bred in the Purple
On the day that the weathermen had predicted violent storms and flash flooding over Epsom Downs, Australia, who had previously drifted in the market due to the expected downpour, stormed home in glorious sunshine.
Bred in the purple by the 19th Earl of Derby, Australia, was by a Derby winner (Galileo 2001), out of an Oaks winner (Ouija Board 2004).
But the history did not stop there; Aidan O’Brien became the first trainer to win three consecutive Derby’s and the owners, their fourth on the trot.
Of the 16 that went to post, the main players were Australia, a runaway winner of a one mile, Group 3 at Leopardstown in September and a close-up third in the Two Thousand Guineas; Kingston Hill, winner of the Racing Post Trophy and a close eighth in the Guineas; Geoffrey Chaucer, winner of the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes; and the second and third in the Dante Stakes, Arod and True Story, the latter the foremost of the Godolphin trio and ridden by Kieren Fallon.
When the field settled, Our Channel and Kingfisher took them along, closely followed by Kingston Hill, with Australia in mid-field. The order remained the same until Tattenham Corner, when the front two extended their lead to four lengths . Meanwhile, Joseph O’Brien brought Australia up the outside and, between the three and the two furlong pole, challenged Kingston Hill for the lead, as Our Channel and Kingfisher fell away.
Soon after, Australia asserted with a burst of speed, to win by one and a quarter lengths, from the gallant Kingston Hill, with Romsdal, who ran well throughout, staying on to be third, a further three and a quarter lengths away.
After the race Aidan O’Brien played down his own achievement, saying, “It’s very special, but we are in a very privileged position to have such horses to train every year. That is the reality of it with the horses with the bloodlines we have – they’re incredible.”
A glance at the records confirm that seven winners in the last decade were sired by, either Montjeu (died 2012), or Galileo, standing at Coolmore in Ireland.
Below is the result of the race in the style of my book
The Derby Stakes – The Complete History – 1780-2006