|Ballydoyle confirm Epsom Derby riding arrangements|
Although the final declaration stage for the Investec Derby has yet to be reached, Aidan O'Brien has confirmed the riding arrangements for his four expected runners in a race the Ballydoyle maestro is attempting to win for the first time since he triumphed with High Chaparral back in 2002, writes Elliot Slater.
After much controversy and speculation former champion jockey Keiren Fallon, one-time stable jockey at Ballydoyle before losing his job in ignominious circumstances, was earlier this week confirmed as the rider of Recital, winner of the Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown last month. Those looking to place a Derby bet on Recital will no doubt have been pleasantly surprised by the move.
The news came as a bitter disappointment to Ed Dunlop, trainer of Native Khan, who had agreed with Fallon some weeks earlier that the Irishman would be aboard his charge in the mile-and-a-half classic. Fallon changed his mind, went back on the deal, and jumped ship to be on board Recital. Doubtless the added bonus of being asked to partner leading candidate Wonder of Wonders for O'Brien in the Oaks the day before the Derby had something to do with his change of heart.
Star French rider Christophe Soumillon will be aboard O'Brien's other big hope Seville, runner-up in last season's Racing Post Trophy before filling the same spot behind Derby favourite Carlton House in the Dante Stakes at York in the middle of last month. The other two runners for the Ballydoyle team will be Treasure Beach, the mount of Colm O'Donoghue, and Memphis Tennessee, the mount of O'Brien's 18-year-old son Joseph, who came in for massive praise after giving the yard's Roderic O'Connor a brilliant front-running ride to land the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh a couple of weeks ago.
Bookies rate Recital (5/1) as the best chance of the O'Brien-trained quartet, but there is also good support for Seville (6/1). Both Treasure Beach and Memphis Tennessee are offered at 25/1.