Moore picks Derby chance against biggest race field in 14 years

Moore picks Derby chance against biggest race field in 14 years
By Sportsbeat

02/06/2017 at 00:50Updated

The white smoke is up and Ryan Moore has made his Derby day decision - with the jockey seeking to win the race for the third time on favourite Cliffs of Moher.

Moore had his pick of Aidan O'Brien's seven runners in the 19 strong field and opted for the impressive winner of last month's Dee Stakes in Chester.

Moore won on Workforce and Ruler of the World in 2010 and 2013 respectively and has already notched an English classic win this season in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The two market leaders have been drawn in relatively close proximity, with John Gosden's Cracksman in stall seven, while Moore's charge will race from stall 13.

Only Finn McCool was scratched from Monday's declarations leaving 19 to go to post at Epsom on Saturday, the largest Derby field since 2003.

Controversial 1000-1 shot Diore Lia will still run despite a ruling from the British Horseracing Authority that apprentice jockey Gina Mangan cannot ride.

Moore welcomed that decision, claiming the presence of such an inexperienced jockey - Mangan has just one winner on her resume from eight years ago - was a danger in such a big field and on such a technical race track.

"They have done the right thing by the horse, Diore Lia, and, while Gina Mangan may not appreciate it at the moment, they have done the right thing by the jockey, too," said Moore, in a blog for a betting company.

"This is a dangerous game, as we unfortunately see far too often, and you simply couldn't allow an inexperienced horse and rider to be placed into the situation that they would have been at Epsom on Saturday.

"Who is to say what would have happened in front of a massive, worldwide TV audience?"

Another apprentice, 19-year old Paddy Piley, will now take the ride on a horse that is massively odds-on to finish last.

Owner Richard Aylward insists he is donating any prize money to Great Ormond Street's children's hospital but only the top six will share the record £1.6 million prize fund, with the horse's Just Giving page currently on £300.

Aylward even claims he will raise the decision to prevent Mangan taking part with the Queen, who is a patron of the charity and will attend the race.

"Our story needs telling because I've been left very, very upset about what has gone on and I feel so sorry for Gina," he said.

"We've had contributions from as far away as America for our charity, and we're hoping it will now take off because of all this that has gone on."

Meanwhile Gosden will no have complaints with Cracksman's draw while Martin Meade - trainer of strongly-fancied Eminent - was also a happy man as he put the finishing touches to his preparations with a gallop at Epsom.

"I was absolutely thrilled, he did exactly what we wanted him to do. I didn’t want to overdo him but for me that was absolutely perfect," he said. “This 12 furlong trip is exactly what we have been waiting for."

Sportsbeat 2017