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Moore springs Mogul surprise as O'Brien bids for history

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Aidan O'Brien had intimated Moore would most likely ride Ascot winner Russian Emperor, who was shorter in the betting, although that changed upon news of Moore's decision

Aidan O'Brien had intimated Moore would most likely ride Ascot winner Russian Emperor, who was shorter in the betting, although that changed upon news of Moore's decision

Aidan O'Brien had intimated Moore would most likely ride Ascot winner Russian Emperor, who was shorter in the betting, although that changed upon news of Moore's decision

Ryan Moore caught a few people by surprise yesterday when, from a choice of six, he picked Mogul as his ride in the Investec Derby.

Aidan O'Brien had intimated Moore would most likely ride Ascot winner Russian Emperor, who was shorter in the betting, although that changed upon news of Moore's decision.

At the end of last year, Mogul, a full brother to last year's close third, Japan, was the chosen one and billed as the trainer's "Derby horse" for this year, much as Japan had been a winter earlier.

However, Mogul was beaten nearly five lengths into fourth by Pyledriver in the Edward VII Stakes at Ascot - his run coming to a halt at the furlong pole when he tired.

Earlier this week, O'Brien, who is aiming to become the first trainer to win the Derby eight times, said that he had hoped to give Mogul two runs before the Classic and that, whatever the colt did at Epsom, he would improve again.

However, Moore clearly believes, with that run under his belt, the colt, which cost £3.4 million as a yearling, is now the pick of the bunch.

Seamie Heffernan (Russian Emperor), Padraig Beggy (Vatican City) and Emmet McNamara (Serpentine) will be flying over to ride at Epsom, although it remains unclear whether they will have to go into quarantine for 14 days (and consequently miss two weeks' racing) on their return to Ireland.

The favourite, English King, drifted to 3/1 in the betting after being drawn in stall one, which means Frankie Dettori will need to utilise all his experience tomorrow, otherwise he will find himself on the outside on the first right-hand dog-leg and could be pinned against the rail for Tattenham Hill. The last horse to win from that stall was Oath in 1999.

However, Dettori is not the only one among the market leaders in the 16-runner race with an iffy draw. Mogul (2) and Kameko (11) are both in stalls which have not produced a winner since starting stalls replaced a flag start in 1967.

Telegraph.co.uk