Looking for his third successive Vodafone Derby winner, Kieren Fallon moved a step closer to naming his choice for the Epsom showpiece on Monday.
Fallon, who took the premier Classic with Kris Kin (2003) and North Light (2004), says it is a “toss up – a very difficult decision” between the Dee Stakes winner Gypsy King and Irish 2000 Guineas runner-up Oratorio.
Fallon is planning to let boss Aidan O’Brien make a final decision, which is expected on Wednesday.
“I will probably let someone else make that decision for me because that way, if it doesn’t work out, I can blame someone else,” quipped Fallon.
“Oratorio has the form, but my heart says Gypsy King. He was always going to be my Derby ride but then Oratorio went and ran so well at the Curragh in the Irish Guineas.
“The decision is up to Aidan. It is a toss up – a very difficult decision. The main thing is that the stable does the business, whichever one it is.”
Oratorio is the most experienced of the Ballydoyle quartet still left in the mile-and-a-half event and he stayed on nicely behind Dubawi in the Irish 2000 Guineas.
“He is the horse with the Group One form and he has learned a lot and has taken the race well. He is very laid back at home and he will handle the preliminaries, which is very important – in fact, he’ll probably need them to wake him up.
“He didn’t have a hard race at the Curragh, I haven’t killed him. I looked after him and he ran a great race and he will stay, for sure he has more of a chance of staying than Dubawi.
“Both of them do nothing at home, so you don’t really know and it is a tough call between the two. They will have one more piece of work each in the next couple of days – I have ridden them in all their work.
“I have always loved Gypsy King since Chester. I gave him a terrible ride at Chester, but he still won and he’s learned a lot. I have thought of him as a serious Derby horse.
“It is not an easy call, but I’ll still be happy if the stable wins – as long as the best horse in the camp does. That is all important. But I’ll be very confident whichever one I ride.”
O’Brien has also left in Almighty and Grand Central at the five-day stage which saw a total of 15 horses stand their ground.