Rome backed for Derby glory

King Of Rome is as low as 12-1 for Saturday’s Vodafone Derby following the news he will be ridden by Johnny Murtagh.

King Of Rome is as low as 12-1 for Saturday’s Vodafone Derby following the news he will be ridden by Johnny Murtagh.

The three-time Epsom winning pilot has opted to partner the Lingfield Derby Trial runner-up as he has his first ride for Aidan O’Brien as retained jockey at Ballydoyle.

His decision prompted William Hill to slash him to 12s from 20-1 for Classic success.

Spokeswoman Kate Miller said: “With Aidan having five in the field, Johnny Murtagh’s ride selection was always going to be extremely telling and while other Ballydoyle runners are currently friendless in the betting, King of Rome is all the rage.

“Murtagh has proven three times that he’s capable of nursing a runner around the Epsom undulations and, despite his mount not having the best of form coming into the race, it perhaps gives you an idea of who is setting the gallops alight.”

Mick Kinane will be aboard Dante runner-up Frozen Fire in other confirmed jockey plans from the Ballydoyle camp.

“Johnny will be on King Of Rome. Mick rides Frozen Fire and David McCabe will be on Bashkirov,” O’Brien told www.racingpost.co.uk.

“Seamie Heffernan and Colm O’Donoghue will be our other Derby jockeys but it will be tomorrow before we decide which of them rides which – Washington Irving or Alessandro Volta.”

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