Aidan O'Brien Looking At Jockey Options For Derby

Aidan O'Brien

Leading flat trainer Aidan O'Brien is eying up his jockey options ahead of the Epsom Derby on Saturday with William Buick, James Doyle and Adam Kirby all in with a chance of getting the leg up on the handlers runners in the Group One.

O'Brien could send at least seven runners into the Classic contest this weekend and with the current travel restrictions and quarantine rules that come with them he may have to look at jockeys already based in England to ride his challengers.

Ballydoyle's number one rider Ryan Moore will obviously get the pick of the rides with it looking like he has a very tough decision between 3.4 million guineas Mogul or the Group Three Hampton Court winner Russian Emperor.

Along with those two runners, Vatican City is another who could be on the mind of Ryan Moore with them being so closely bunched in the market and for whichever jockey gets the spare ride it could be one that sees them win the Derby.

Others in the Classic include Saturday’s Curragh winner Serpentine, Amhran Na Bhfiann, who is a brother to Oaks winner Was, Mythical and Armory, although the latter looks likely to run in Sunday’s French Derby.

(Credit AtTheRaces) O'Brien said: “We don’t know what Ryan will ride. He’ll always make that decision late.

“He’ll look at the draws, we’ll tell him what we think might happen, but it’s been different this year because Ryan isn’t here (working at Ballydoyle).

“Obviously he’ll make his decision late and then we’ll put everyone else on what we think will suit.

“We have James Doyle, William Buick and Adam Kirby and we have some of our own people, then we just have to decide what we want to do that way because with the restrictions at the moment, they can’t ride for two weeks.

“There is a chance the restrictions will be lifted, but if they are not, they won’t be able to ride until after the Irish Oaks. If they are lifted they might be able to ride the following weekend.“It’s all a little up in the air and we just need to see what is going to happen.”

O'Brien has explained that the situation is not ideal but is overall happy to have these big events go ahead when at one stage it looked far from possible.

O’Brien said: “You do your best, you don’t want to mess anyone around, but ultimately the lads (Coolmore) will decide.

“We do our best to try not to let that happen and have the right riders on the right horses. Everyone is very understanding with the circumstances we are in at the minute.”