Up my neck of the woods there was murmurs of torrential rain, flooding & arks being assembled to weather the storms in Epsom. By mid-day the going had changed to, good, soft in places. Even punters who have only ever written "FAV" on their slips were looking past the drifting favourite. A steady pace was established with Our Channel making the running. For a long way out the race was wide open with tactics going well for many, Fallon was working hard on True Story to get a good position from his draw. Australia, Kingston Hill & Arod all travelling purposefully. As the finishing post grew closer, Australia & Kingston Hill were the two to pick it up. Australia always had a short edge on Kingston Hill & did well to hold off the challenge, as Kingston Hill showed no signs of slowing. Australia's one & a quarter length win, cements the potential of her profound pedigree. True Story, Western Hymn & Geoffrey Chaucer were talked up prior to the race but failed to make an impact. Australia's win gifted O'Brien his 3rd consecutive Derby success, prevailing last year with Ruler Of The World, & Camelot the year before, also rode by son Joseph. When O'Brien claimed Australia was the best horse he had trained, it's easy to over look such a remark, they're made all the time by jockeys & trainers. This time we witnessed the real deal. Australia could now be geared towards the Irish Derby at the Curragh on the 28th of June.
California Chrome set out to make racing history in the Belmont stakes. Looking to join the elite eleven who won all three group one races over the five weeks (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes & Belmont Stakes). Unfortunately it seems his chances were over on the off, taking a nasty knick at the back of his leg. California Chrome held a good position & was in contention throughout, but when the time came to deliver, there seemed to be no more to give. Tonalist took the prestigious prize, but not without a photo finish for the honour. Judges declared Tonalist over second place Commissioner & history books were snapped shut. California Chrome was placed fourth, almost two lengths behind the winner in a dead heat with Wicked Strong. A very exciting build up to the race & millions of viewers tuned in worldwide. It's a real shame co-owner Steve Coburn felt the need to lash out over the rules of the triple crown & overshadow his colt's achievements. He made his spiel on live television, brashly claiming only horses who compete in the Kentucky Derby should be allowed to race in the following two races, which would completely destroy the illustrious event. There's a reason only eleven have succeeded to date.