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City Of Troy and Los Angeles both on course for Epsom, says O’Brien

City Of Troy and Los Angeles both on course for Epsom, says O’Brien
City Of Troy and Los Angeles both on course for Epsom, says O’Brien

Aidan O’Brien has confirmed City Of Troy, Los Angeles and outsider Euphoric as his three intended runners in the Betfred Derby on Saturday.

The Ballydoyle handler retains a strong hand as he looks to add to his record haul of nine victories in the premier Classic, with six horses left in the race at Monday’s confirmation stage.

But with French 2000 Guineas Diego Velazquez instead heading back across the Channel for Sunday’s Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly, and Illinois and Portland seemingly not making the trip to Epsom, that number is set to be halved come the big day.

Aidan O'Brien is planning to run three horses in the Betfred Derby at Epsom
Aidan O’Brien is planning to run three horses in the Betfred Derby at Epsom (Damien Eagers/PA)

“That is what we’re thinking of, maybe the three, everything seems well with them all at the moment so that’s what we’re thinking,” O’Brien said in a France Galop zoom call on Tuesday.

O’Brien’s comments would appear to ease any concerns about the participation of City Of Troy after several bookmakers reported significant support for Los Angeles.

Coral cut the Leopardstown Derby Trial winner to 4-1 from 9-2 and eased City Of Troy at the head of the betting to 11-4 from 9-4, while Paddy Power have the stablemates even closer together in the market, with City Of Troy pushed out to the same price and Los Angeles a 100-30 shot from 5-1.

Coral have also seen support for Charlie Appleby’s Ancient Wisdom, with their spokesman David Stevens saying: “City Of Troy was as short as 7-4 for the Derby last week, but in recent days Ancient Wisdom, who was 11-1, and Los Angeles, 6-1 at the weekend, have been the pair attracting the most support, to the point where either could now end up replacing City Of Troy as big-race favourite come Saturday.”

O’Brien is not overly concerned about the underfoot conditions for either of his two main protagonists.

He added: “That (ground) should be fine I think, they’re giving Friday and Saturday dry, so you often see the ground can be slow for the Oaks and perfect for the Derby. We think and hope it’s going to be nice ground and I think that’ll suit everybody really.”

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: “Los Angeles has now usurped Ambiente Friendly as second-favourite and after sustained support is in to 100-30 from 5-1.

“Nothing will change City Of Troy being our biggest loser at this stage as he was all the rage for the guts of a year, although there don’t seem to be many punters keen to back him now even at 11-4.

“There’s not a lot of difference in price in the Ballydoyle big two now and while a week ago I wouldn’t even have envisaged Ryan Moore not partnering City Of Troy and we, of course, have absolutely no idea of their riding arrangements, were Ryan to elect to ride Los Angeles instead, I would be flabbergasted if the latter doesn’t go off favourite.”

O’Brien, however, fully expects Moore to keep the faith in City Of Troy as he looks to follow in the hoofprints of last year’s Epsom hero Auguste Rodin by bouncing back from 2000 Guineas disappointment to claim Derby glory, with Wayne Lordan therefore set to keep the ride on Los Angeles.

“That’s the plan, that is what we were thinking of doing. I didn’t hear anything different and I think that has been the plan all along,” said O’Brien.

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