Handicapper hails Australia

Australia has been given a rating of 123 by the British Horseracing Authority following his Investec Derby victory.

Having finished a close third in the 2000 Guineas, Aidan O'Brien's colt brought the highest figure into the premier Classic on 119 and justified all the hype with an impressive display in the hands of the trainer's son, Joseph.

His 4lb rise means he has reached the same BHA rating as the incredible Sea The Stars was given immediately after his Derby victory five years ago.

However, his performance is rated below stable companion Camelot, who won the race in 2012, as well as 2010 winner Workforce.

Dominic Gardiner-Hill, deputy head of handicapping at the BHA, said: "We have decided to give Australia a rating of 123 and in terms of performance, that gives him the same rating as Sea The Stars achieved after he won the Derby in 2009.

"Workforce's Derby performance was initially given a rating of 128, before being downgraded to 125, and Camelot was given a rating of 124, so their Derby performances were considered superior to Australia's.

"Ruler Of The World was rated 120 after his Derby win a year ago, later adjusted to 119, and Pour Moi was given a rating of 122 in 2011, so Australia produced a better performance than they did.

"However, as has been the case in previous years, his performance rating of 123 could go up or down based on how horses that finished behind him perform in the future."

Australia looks set for a potential rematch with Epsom runner-up Kingston Hill in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 28 and Gardiner-Hill expects the O'Brien runner to confirm his superiority.

"Kingston Hill has gone back up to 120, the rating he had at the end of his two-year-old season, which is actually the same figure Fame And Glory was given after he finished second behind Sea The Stars," he said.

"Romsdal has gone up from 107 to 115 after he finished third and the fourth home, Arod, has gone up 1lb from 108 to 109.

"From what I read in the press, it sounds as though Australia and Kingston Hill could go to the Curragh, which would be great.

"Based on the way Australia traveller and where he came from in the race on Saturday, I would expect him to come out on top again, but this is horseracing and you never know what will happen."

From a handicapping perspective, Gardiner-Hill is looking forward to the day both Australia and Kingston Hill get the opportunity to test their powers against their elders later in the campaign.

He said: "The proof of the ratings pudding is always when the three-year-olds meet the older horses in the late summer months.

"In terms of mile races, for instance, I always look towards the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, the Prix Jacques le Marois in France and the QEII at Ascot.

"It is not until they on the older horses that you can really cement the level of the three-year-old crop.

"Things are obviously starting to rev up now and I think we're in for an exciting summer."