Aidan O’Brien had mooted turning Irish Derby winner Santiago out again quickly after he added to his Royal Ascot win at the Curragh on Saturday, but his name was not on the list of 17 colts left in next Saturday's Derby at Epsom.

Instead the seven possible Ballydoyle runners are another Ascot winner in Russian Emperor, Irish Guineas runner-up Vatican City, Mogul, Amhran Na Bhfiann, Armory, Mythical and Serpentine.

Ante-post favourite and Lingfield Derby Trial winner English King heads the entries. The son of Camelot is owned by Bjorn Nielsen and will be ridden at Epsom by Frankie Dettori, who has enjoyed great success with the same owner's Stradivarius.

Trainer Ed Walker said: "Anyone who says they don’t think about winning the Derby is surely lying. I've been thinking about it since I discovered horseracing when I was 13 years old, so of course you think about it in this position. It would be a great day if it happened.

“It’s been quite nice that we booked our ticket very early – it was only the fifth day of the season. It’s been nice watching all the other trials and seeing who else is putting their hands up as Derby contenders.

“I always vowed I wouldn’t run a horse in the Derby who didn’t deserve his place, because we’ve all seen nice horses get ruined in the race.

“I’m very hopeful and confident he genuinely deserves to take his chance. Whether he’s good enough, we’ll find out, but I think he ticks a lot of boxes – and I think that’s why he’s at the top of the market.”


Andrew Balding’s Kameko was a clear-cut winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and he takes a leap up in trip, with stablemate and Goodwood winner Khalifa Sat also set to take his chance.

Pyledriver was one of the more popular winners during Royal Ascot for William Muir and he will aim to give Martin Dwyer a second win in the race following on from Sir Percy in 2006.

Highland Chief was another Royal Ascot winner for Paul and Oliver Cole, another family who have tasted Derby glory before with Generous in 1991.

Emissary, Gold Maze, Max Vega, Mohican Heights and Worthily complete the contenders.

The going at Epsom on Monday was described as 'Good, Good to Firm in places.' Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper said: "The forecast is looking rather uncertain at the moment. We are speaking to the Met Office twice a day and it is looking likely to be predominantly dry for the next 24 hours. Nothing in the forecast suggests serious volumes of rain. There are bits and pieces of rain around. There is more clarity in the temperature range, which is set to be around 19 to 21-22 Celsius all week."

DERBY BETTING: 9/4 English King, 4 Kameko, 13/2 Mogul, Russian Emperor, 8 Vatican City, 16 Highland Chief, Pyledriver, 20 Armory, Mohican Heights, 33 Serpentine, Emissary, Khalifa Sat, Worthily, 40 Mythical, 50 Amhran Na Bhfiann, Gold Maze, 66 Max Vega.