LEXINGTON, KY – Trainer Aidan O’Brien, who had yet to win the event, saddled the top three finishers including the 73/1 winner Order of Australia in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup FanDuel Mile presented by PDJF (G1) at Keeneland.
Order of Australia was not supposed to even be in this race. At one point earlier this week, neither was his jockey, Pierre-Charles Boudot.
Order of Australia only drew into the race as an Also Eligible after One Master was announced as scratched, and he was thus saddled with having to break from the far outside post in the full field of 14. Boudot, originally named to ride One Master, earned the mount after original jockey Christophe Soumillon tested positive for COVID-19.
Order of Australia broke outward a bit, but Boudot hustled him up and angled him safely over to sit a two-wide trip in fourth as the field, led by Halladay, entered the clubhouse turn.
With Factor This tracking closely, Halladay posted opening fractions of :23.48, :46.97, and 1:10.39 but began to give way as he hit the top of the stretch.
Order of Australia ranged up gradually in the stretch and took over in deep stretch, then held off late bids from stablemates Circus Maximus and Lope Y Fernandez to win the firm event by a neck in 1:33.73.
“It’s dream come true,” said Boudot, who also earned a mount on Audarya, winner of the Filly & Mare Turf (G1) earlier on the card, when her jockey also tested positive for COVID-19. “It is only by chance to get these rides and I’m sorry for Ioritz Mendizabal (previous rider of Audarya) and Christophe Soumillon. Audarya was amazing, a real warrior. It’s a difficult situation with Covid, but I was given two nice opportunities. Order Of Australia is a fast horse, the mile is very good for him, and the good ground was perfect. He gave me a nice turn of foot, but when he got to the front, he’s a tricky horse as he needs some help to concentrate. I’m over the moon.”
Circus Maximus took second by 3/4 of a length over Lope Y Fernandez, while Ivar finished best of the American-based runners, taking fourth over defending race champion Uni by a head.
Halladay, the 5/1 favorite Kameko, Factor This, Siskin, Raging Bull, Digital Age, Casa Creed, March to the Arch, and Safe Voyage completed the order of finish.
Order of Australia’s win, his first at the stakes level, came in his American racing debut and improved his overall record to 8-3-0-1 with $1,096,675 earned. The Irish-bred 3-year-old colt by Australia’s dam is Senta’s Dream, who also produced the 2019 Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner Iridessa. Order of Australia is owned by the Coolmore triumvirate of Smith, Magnier, and Tabor, as well as Aidan’s wife, Anne Marie.
“It’s a real team effort, we’re very happy,” said O’Brien’s traveling head man Pat Keating. “First 3 home is unbelievable. You need a lot of luck in this game. We’re lucky enough to have good horses and good jockeys. I’m just happy for everyone involved.”
Order of Australia returned $148.40 to win, $57 to place, and $25.60 to show. Circus Maximus brought back $12.60 to place and $9 to show, while Lope Y Fernandez paid $12.40 to show.