No Mangan but Ana O'Brien flying the flag for female apprentices
Gina Mangan may have been controversially prevented from partnering Diore Lia in the Investec Derby but there will still be a female apprentice riding in the world's most famous Flat race as Ana O'Brien will be aboard The Anvil, one of six trained by her father Aidan O'Brien in the final field of 19.
Ryan Moore has stayed loyal to Dee Stakes winner Cliffs Of Moher, with Seamie Heffernan on Capri for the sixth time. Chester Vase winner Venice Beach will be ridden by Aidan's son Donnacha, while Colm O'Donoghue has been given the nod to ride Derrinstown winner Douglas Macarthur. Padraig Beggy will be on Wings Of Eagles.
Now that Moore has been confirmed for Cliffs Of Moher, Paddy Power make him 4-6 to start favourite and their spokesman, Paul Binfield, expects him to go off as short as 11-4.
Binfield said: "In an open year Cliffs Of Moher is favourite by default as he's trained by the master and ridden by Ryan, but it’s not as if he’s miles clear of the rest in terms of what he has achieved so far. He could go off as short as 11-4, though."
The Anvil may not be Ballydoyle's number one hope according to the market but Ana O'Brien expressed her delight at getting the opportunity to ride in such a high-profile race and cannot wait for the stalls to open.
"I'm absolutely delighted. I'm in a very lucky position and I'd like to thank my Dad and everybody else that has played a part in me getting the ride. It's fantastic and I cannot wait," she said.
"I think I've got stronger and improved this year. It's my first full year riding out all the time and I think it's showing. I've finished college and that's allowed me to concentrate on my riding and I feel that's been a big help."
The Anvil may be a general 50-1 chance but Ana is expecting a bold showing from the relatively experienced colt.
"He's had seven runs already so has plenty of experience and I think he'll give me a great spin. He stays well so I'd imagine that I'll bounce out and try to sit handy. He seems very straightforward," she said.
She added: "He seemed to really enjoy himself at Chester and he was very impressive when he won at Dundalk before that. He has some decent form at two as well so hopefully he'll give a good account of himself."
But, if given the choice of all her father's Derby runners, who would she ride?
"I'm just happy to have a ride at all and feel very privileged," was her very diplomatic answer.
Who will go off Derby SP favourite?
Paddy Power 4-6 Cliffs Of Moher, 11-8 Cracksman, 12 Eminent, 33 any other horse