Saxon Warrior drawn in stall one and odds drift as 12 remain in Derby
Saxon Warrior will face 11 rivals when he bids to follow up his 2,000 Guineas triumph in Saturday's Investec Derby, but he will have to overcome a poor draw after he was given stall one of 12 in the first live draw for the Classic.
Saxon Warrior, who was initially pushed out to 11-10 by some firms and as big as 6-5 with Betway as a result of his draw later firmed up to around even money or 10-11. He will be bidding to become a record-equalling seventh Derby winner for trainer Aidan O'Brien and the first to complete the Guineas-Derby double since Camelot for the same connections six years ago.
Rostropovich and Nelson were the two taken out of the 14-strong field who had stood at the five-day stage. Fears of a small field were unfounded, with 12 being the same number of runners as in six previous Derbys this century. Nine of the 18 run since 2000 having produced fields of between 12 and 14.
Since stalls were introduced for the Derby in 1967, three horses (Blakeney, Roberto and Oath) have won from the inside stall, which has a poor record in recent, smaller-field Derbys and is perceived to be disadvantageous due to an early right-hand bend over left-handed Epsom.
O'Brien's other four runners are mostly drawn high, with Zabriskie in eight and The Pentagon and Kew Gardens drawn right on the outside in 11 and 12 respectively. Delano Roosevelt is in stall four.
Where the last ten Derby winners were drawn
2017 Wings Of Eagles 14 (of 18 runners)
2016 Harzand 9 (16)
2015 Golden Horn 8 (12)
2014 Australia 12 (16)
2013 Ruler Of The World 10 (12)
2012 Camelot 5 (9)
2011 Pour Moi 7 (13)
2010 Workforce 8 (12)
2009 Sea The Stars 4 (12)
2008 New Approach 3 (16)
Ryan Moore will ride Saxon Warrior, as expected, with Seamie Heffernan on his nearest-drawn stablemate Delano Roosevelt. Donnacha O'Brien will partner Kew Gardens, Wayne Lordan will be on The Pentagon and last year's winning rider Padraig Beggy will ride Zabriskie.
Dante winner Roaring Lion (stall five), Derrinstown winner Hazapour (three) and Chester Vase winner Young Rascal (nine) head the dangers to Saxon Warrior according to the market.
Knight To Behold (Lingfield Derby Trial) and Sevenna Star (Classic Trial) have also won recognised trials and will break from stalls two and seven respectively. Both will be first Derby rides for their jockeys, Richard Kingscote and Robert Havlin.
The field is completed by Chester Vase runner-up Dee Ex Bee (six) and Guineas third Masar (ten), the latter Godolphin's only representative.
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