Moher heads six-strong Derby squad for Ballydoyle

Cliffs Of Moher leads a six-strong Aidan O'Brien team into battle for the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday.

A son of the all-conquering Galileo, he slammed talented stablemate Orderofthegarter on his final juvenile appearance at Leopardstown and warmed up for Epsom with victory in the Dee Stakes at Chester.

Cliffs Of Moher is the chosen mount of dual Derby-winning jockey Ryan Moore.

O'Brien, who has saddled five previous winners of the race, said: "We were a little bit worried with him going to Chester as he had a very soft run the first time and won very easily on his second run as a two-year-old.

"We were just hoping that we'd be able to get a run into him and find that he could go to the Derby.

"He was a little bit slowly away (at Chester) and Ryan got him into a good position fairly quick.

"He was a little bit green on the bend and into the straight and picked up really well in the last half a furlong.

"He's a horse that always showed plenty of pace, so we weren't even sure about going up to a mile and a half, but he galloped out well to the line at Chester."

O'Brien is also represented by Douglas Macarthur (Colm O'Donoghue) and Capri (Seamie Heffernan), who were first and third in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.

Chester Vase one-two-three, Venice Beach (Donnacha O'Brien), Wings Of Eagles (Padraig Beggy) and The Anvil (Ana O'Brien), also take their chance.

He said: "The Derrinstown two, their preparations have gone very well. They came forward from their first to their second run and we think, and hope, that they should come forward again.

"Douglas Macarthur is a horse we always thought would stay more than a mile and a quarter and that is what he showed at Leopardstown when he came back on the line and put his head down in front. He will improve for going the mile and a half.

"Capri has had two runs this year. He ran first time in the Ballysax and we were very happy with his run. Then he progressed nicely to his second run. Everything seems to be fine since with him.

"The three horses that ran in the (Chester) Vase are solid mile-and-a-half horses. They will get the mile and a half well and they might get further."

O'Brien's son, Joseph, won the Derby twice as a jockey aboard Camelot (2012) and Australia (2014) and has his first runner in the race as a trainer with Rekindling.

Formerly trained by the now-retired David Wachman, the High Chaparral colt won the Ballysax Stakes on his debut for O'Brien before finishing fourth in the Dante at York.

"The ground was not ideal at York and on reflection he didn't run a bad race, he was staying on again," said the Kilkenny-based trainer.

"As for the track, you just don't know. He has a good action and there's no reason to believe he won't act round there, but, like I said, until they try it for the first time, you just don't know. I hope it's no issue.

"There's no substitute for the hustle and bustle of the Derby day experience, though, you can't replicate it anywhere else.

"That's why whoever wins is always regarded as the best. As well as having to beat the best horses, they have to deal with all that as well."