Aidan O’Brien: saddles five runners in the Investec Derby
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Tony O’Hehir 7:30aM 4 JUN 2016
US ARMY RANGER arrives at Epsom unbeaten in two starts but with plenty to prove as he leads Aidan O’Brien’s five-strong bid to land a sixth Investec Derby.
Unraced last year, Ryan Moore’s mount was being talked about as a Derby contender even before he made a successful debut in a maiden at the Curragh in April.
He then got the better of stablemate Port Douglas – another O’Brien hope today – by a short head in the Chester Vase.
O’Brien, who landed the Oaks with Minding before enjoying five winners at Leopardstown yesterday, said: “Everything has gone smoothly with US Army Ranger since his Chester win. It was only his second run and he was a bit babyish. Hopefully, he’ll have grown up and learned from the experience he got there.
“On breeding you’d have to think he should get the distance.”
Blinkers back on
The blinkers are back on Port Douglas, who raced without them at Chester, where many felt a more vigorous ride would have seen him beat US Army Ranger.
O’Brien said: “We’re putting blinkers back on as Port Douglas can be a bit idle. His run at Chester was good and he’s going there in good form.”
‘You’d hope he can improve’
Dante Stakes runner-up Deauville will be partnered by former Ballydoyle stable jockey Jamie Spencer, and O’Brien said: “He ran a very good race at York and the Dante is usually a good trial. It was his first run of the season and you’d hope he can improve. He came out of the race well.”
O’Brien also saddles Idaho and Shogun though the pair have it to find with several rivals on recent form.
BoyleSports are offering 6-4 about O’Brien winning the Derby with one of his five runners and 66-1 he saddles the first three home.