Jim Crowley has got to know his Epsom Derby mount Emissary as 16 runners were confirmed for Saturday’s showpiece.
The in-form rider visited Hugo Palmer’s Newmarket stable this morning to take the reins on the unexposed colt.
A half-brother to 2010 Derby winner Workforce, Emissary finished a close second to Khalifa Sat in the Listed Coral/ British EBF Cocked Hat Stakes on June 14.
Palmer has opted to run his colt in first-time cheekpieces, racing from stall four.
“Jim had a sit on Emissary this morning, in human terms they went for a little jog to begin their understanding,” said the trainer.
“He said he was a gentleman and a nice balanced horse for Epsom.
“It all went smoothly and I’m happy with how he is.”
Emissary will be a first Investec Derby runner for Palmer, who won a Classic in 2016 when Galileo Gold took the 2,000 Guineas.
That same year, he saddled Architecture to finish runner-up in the Oaks, which precedes the Derby on the same day this year.
“Having a horse good enough to run at Epsom is thrilling,” said Palmer.
“The Derby is the dream. The classics define the thoroughbred.
“It’s great to be involved.”
Emissary is drawn to the outer of key contenders English King and Mogul in the 1m 4f highlight, as they start from stall one and two respectively.
Number ten, the most successful for winners since 1967, will be occupied by outsider Mythical.
His stablemate Armory was the sole withdrawal at Thursday’s declaration stage.
“If I had to pick I would have gone for somewhere in the middle,” said Palmer.
“But Jim rides Epsom very well and has a solid strike rate around there.
“We feel our horse will stay, as well as having the pace he needs to get a good position.
“We have gone for first-time cheekpieces as he was just a bit babyish at Goodwood.
“The run has brought him on loads, as my horses have been needing their first outing.
“About ten days ago he went to Sandown with three workmates, he sat last and quickened through them.
“It was good to give him another view of the racecourse before going to the biggest race in the world.”
Epsom Derby runners and draw
1. Amhran Na Bhfiann (5) A P O’Brien, Will Buick
2. Emissary (4) Hugo Palmer, Jim Crowley
3. English King (1) Ed Walker, Frankie Dettori
4. Gold Maze (16) Mrs John Harrington, John Egan
5. Highland Chief (13) Paul and Oliver Cole, Ben Curtis
6. Kameko (11) Andrew Balding, Oisin Murphy
7. Khalifa Sat (14) Andrew Balding, Tom Marquand
8. Max Vega (7) Ralph Beckett, Harry Bentley
9. Mogul (2) A P O’Brien, Ryan Moore
10. Mohican Heights (15) David Simcock, Andrea Atzeni
11. Mythical (10) A P O’Brien, James Doyle
12. Pyledriver (3) William Muir, Martin Dwyer
13. Russian Emperor (6) A P O’Brien, Seamie Heffernan
14. Serpentine (12) A P O’Brien, Emmet McNamara
15. Vatican City (8) A P O’Brien, P B Beggy
16. Worthily (9) John Gosden, Martin Harley