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Doyle free to ride Young Rascal as O'Brien leaves seven in Derby

Young Rascal beats Dee Ex Bee in the Chester Vase
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James Doyle is free to ride Investec Derby third favourite Young Rascal at Epsom on Saturday after champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa was booked to partner Dee Ex Bee in the Classic.

Under his Godolphin retainer Doyle could have been claimed for 33-1 chance Dee Ex Bee, who is owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, son of Sheikh Mohammed.


James Doyle's Derby rides

2017 Glencadam Glory (9th)
2014 Pinzolo (14th)


But Dee Ex Bee's trainer Mark Johnston revealed on Monday that a resolution had been found that suited all parties, allowing Doyle to stick with the colt he rode to a half-length victory over Dee Ex Bee in the Chester Vase.

"Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed let James off on the basis that he had the opportunity to have a ride on the horse who beat us at Chester," revealed Johnston.


Watch Young Rascal beat Dee Ex Bee at Chester


"James hasn't actually won on Dee Ex Bee whereas Silvestre has. Although he's ridden him twice, that has been in two of his more disappointing runs, so he doesn't have quite the same credentials for the horse that Silvestre has.

"James accepted he would ride Dee Ex Bee if that's what the owner wanted, but this suited everybody. Nobody is losing out."

Young Rascal, who is owned by Investec managing director Bernard Kantor and a general 10-1 shot for the Derby, is unbeaten this year under Doyle, who also exercised the colt during a visit to Epsom last week for Breakfast with the Stars.

Haggas said: "I'm pleased about the situation. James has ridden the horse twice this year. He likes him, so it's great news he's able to ride and I'm very grateful to all the connections of Dee Ex Bee to allow it to happen."

Of Investec Oaks entry Sea Of Class, Haggas added: "I'll decide on Wednesday morning and not before."

Dee Ex Bee will be only horse in the Derby with winning form at Epsom and, despite his odds, is fancied to turn the tables on Young Rascal by Johnston.

"He knows the track and is no forlorn hope," said the trainer. "I think we're in a nice position in that we've got a live outsider that's not on the radar. We'd fancy our chances of beating William Haggas's horse with another two furlongs, even at Chester."

There were 14 left in the £1.5 million race on Monday, with favourite Saxon Warrior one of seven trained by Aidan O'Brien, who also still has Delano Roosevelt, Kew Gardens, The Pentagon, Nelson, Rostropovich and Zabriskie in the reckoning.

John Gosden has included Sevenna Star alongside Dante winner Roaring Lion, but has previously indicated that Sandown Classic Trial winner Sevenna Star would wait for Royal Ascot, with Frankie Dettori free to ride Hazapour.

The ground at Epsom on Monday afternoon was changed to good, good to soft in places, from good to soft, though there was a risk of showers overnight.


Derby field and betting


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James accepted he would ride Dee Ex Bee if that's what the owner wanted but this suited everybody. Nobody is losing out
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