Racing: Fallon factor hidden by O'Brien multiple choice

The Derby used to be such a simple race, with just one of the myriad questions that attached themselves to lesser races. All a punter had to do in the old days was consider a single issue: what is Lester going to ride?

The Derby used to be such a simple race, with just one of the myriad questions that attached themselves to lesser races. All a punter had to do in the old days was consider a single issue: what is Lester going to ride?

These are more complex times, but the strategy does carry a modern application: what is Kieren going to ride? Kieren Fallon has won the last two Derbys, on North Light and Kris Kin, and whatever colt he decides to partner on 4 June will get a bashing in the bookmakers' lists. Whatever, though, is a rather grand question itself at the moment.

We can determine that Fallon will ride an animal for his new employers at Ballydoyle, but that was a flimsy tool of deduction yesterday when Aidan O'Brien nominated seven contenders among the 27 horses left in the Blue Riband.

At least as surprising as O'Brien's runners left in were those omitted. Footstepsinthesand, whom we were belatedly told had suffered a stone bruise in the course of his 2,000 Guineas victory, is out, as is Albert Hall, who was second to Motivator in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last season and ran in York's Dante Stakes this, both appointments suggesting Epsom was a natural stopping-off point.

A last-minute search is now being conducted to find the magnificent one among the Ballydoyle seven. The markets tell us that Gypsy King, whom insiders at the Ballydoyle yard tell us has always been O'Brien's idea of his Derby horse, is the one. But then there is also Grand Central, who ran in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, the modern pointer to Blue Riband success. Grand Central has been beaten twice this season yet still the money comes for him. He must be some sort of gallops horse.

Also in the Ballydoyle herd are Falstaff, the early favourite to be the Derby pacemaker, the apparently exposed Indigo Cat and Almighty, as well as the more interesting Scorpion and Oratorio. The former is unbeaten, albeit after a single maiden race, and more will be known after he tackles another Derby consideration in John Oxx's Ehsan in the Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday. Oratorio, the 2,000 Guineas fourth, runs in the Irish equivalent on the same card in another Ballydoyle block booking.

O'Brien saddles almost half the field in his domestic colts' Classic, with Albert Hall being found a place there, in addition to the less vaunted Showdance and Hills Of Aran. Also on a retrieval mission is Godolphin's Dubawi, a supposed wonder horse before the 2,000 Guineas but just another disappointment afterwards as he trotted home in fifth place.

Team Dubai appear to have a weak challenge for the Blue Riband itself as Dubawi is entered with another flop, the Predominate Stakes third, Belenus, as well as Shamardal, who is much more likely to go for the French version, the Prix du Jockey Club.

The owner with the mostest is Michael Tabor, who has four declarations in his own name and one with Sue Magnier, Sir Michael Stoute's Chester maiden winner, Mountain High.

The partnership is also represented by Mona Lisa in the Oaks, for which 16 fillies were declared yesterday, though they also have the option of supplementing Sunday's Irish 1,000 Guineas favourite, Virginia Waters, for £20,000 at the five-day stage (the Derby supplementary fee is a more meaty £75,000).

Also in the Oaks mix are the trial winners Eswarah, the ante-post favourite, Cassydora and Something Exciting, the last-named having scooped the Lupe Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday. "Something Exciting is in good form and has come out of the race well," David Elsworth, her trainer, reported yesterday. "She's been led out for a pick of grass and has a great big smile on her face."

* Yesterday's meeting at Goodwood had to be abandoned after a thick sea fret descended on the track just before the first race. Officials at the Sussex venue tried in vain to save the card by delaying the opening race but were forced to abandon at 2.45pm, 35 minutes after the race had been due off.

Hyperion'S Selections For Today'S Other Meetings:

Bath: 6.20 Mister Right 6.50 Mujood 7.20 Von Wessex 7.50 Wingspeed 8.20 Cape St Vincent 8.50 Music Teacher

Stratford: 6.10 Party Games 6.40 Viscount Bankes 7.10 Natal 7.40 Jack Of Spades 8.10 Lord Beau 8.40 Sungates

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst/ Project Manager - Financial Services

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...

Cover Supervisors needed in Cheshire & Shropshire

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunities for Cover Supervisor...

Welsh Medium Teacher

£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

Primary Tutors needed in Chester

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Tutoring in Cheshire West &amp...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits