O'Brien settles on Derby quartet

Yesterday was a time for some i-dotting and t-crossing, and a little head-scratching, in mission control at Ballydoyle. In the morning, Aidan O'Brien's squad for the Derby was finalised; a quartet – Seville, Recital, Treasure Beach and Memphis Tennessee – is set to challenge for the £1.25m Investec-sponsored purse at Epsom on Saturday, with another who might have done so, Roderic O'Connor, heading for the Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly the following day.

And in the afternoon, at Leopardstown, Gold Cup candidate Fame And Glory duly made it two out of two for the season in the Saval Beg Stakes, with last year's Royal Ascot hero Rite Of Passage back in third, but did not wholly convince as a marathon champion to follow in the hoofprints of his erstwhile stablemate, the peerless Yeats.

Five-year-old Fame And Glory already has three top-level victories under his girth, the Tattersalls Gold Cup over 10 furlongs and the Irish Derby and Coronation Cup over 12. Yesterday's Listed contest was his first attempt at a mile and three-quarters and, having travelled smoothly into contention at the turn into the straight, he had to work hard through the final furlong to repel the unconsidered Vivacious Vivienne by half a length and justify his 30-100 starting price.

Repel her he did, though, and was well enough in command at the line without Jamie Spencer having had to recourse to any meaningful use of the whip. But the son of Montjeu will have another six furlongs to go at Ascot next month and O'Brien, though pleased with the effort, admitted that the long-distance run, for which task Fitri Hay's colour-bearer remains favourite, will be something of a shot in the dark.

"With stayers," he said, if they get a mile and six they usually get two miles. The extra half-mile, you don't know though, but he didn't look like he was stopping here, he looked like he still had more left. It was a solidly run race and he is a very courageous horse."

Rite Of Passage, running for the first time since his defeat of Age Of Aquarius at Ascot last year, lost his unbeaten Flat record (he has been defeated over hurdles) but little caste, just three-quarters of a length behind the 50-1 runner-up. "Very pleased," said his trainer, Dermot Weld, "he was staying on again at the end and had a real blow afterwards."

Between them, the four Ballydoyle Derby horses, whose riders have yet to be confirmed, have two firsts and two seconds between them in Epsom preps. The shortest-priced of them, 6-1 third favourite Recital, was followed home by the longest, 40-1 shot Memphis Tennessee, when he took the Derrinstown Stud Trial; Treasure Beach, a general 25-1 chance, won the Chester Vase; and Seville, 7-1, beat all bar Epsom favourite Carlton House in the Dante.

Roderic O'Connor, who had been available at around 16-1, won the Irish 2,000 Guineas under O'Brien's teenage son Joseph, but the more experienced hands of Ryan Moore – also partner of Carlton House – will take over for the trickier assignment at Chantilly.

O'Brien's two leading Oaks fancies, the second favourite Wonder Of Wonders (whose dam All Too Beautiful finished second seven years ago) and Misty For Me may be accompanied by a pacemaker, but the Coronation Cup the same afternoon will be left solely to the market leader St Nicholas Abbey, with Moore on board, as Cape Blanco will now stay at home.

Yesterday at Auteuil, on France's top day for jumpers, the Willie Mullins-trained Thousand Stars, runner-up in the Irish Champion Hurdle and Aintree Hurdle, finished a gallant second to Roi Du Val in the Prix La Barka, and the legendary Mid Dancer took the Grand Steeplechase de Paris for the second time, having won in 2007.

* Chris McGrath's Nap

Take It To The Max (4.05 Carlisle)

Was rated 20lb higher than now last year and his win this month suggests a change of home has rekindled his innate ability.



* Next best

Sluggsy Morant (2.40 Leicester)

Emerged at three after a promising first campaign to win with something in hand.



* One to watch

Watered Silk (Marcus Tregoning), the victim of a muddling pace at Salisbury last week, can find compensation soon.



* Where the money's going

Yesterday's winner Bewitched is 12-1 from 16-1 with Ladbrokes for Royal Ascot's Golden Jubilee Stakes.

Suggested Topics
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'