Mick Kinane will be on board Derby favourite Hawk Wind at Epsom on Saturday

Mick Kinane, stable jockey to Aidan O’Brien’s powerful Irish stable, has announced that he will rideHawk Wing, the favourite in Saturday’s Vodafone Derby.

The one proviso is that the going remains fast. If rain changed the Epsom ground to soft Mick would consider switching to High Chaparral, the second favourite and stable companion of Hawk Wing.

It has been one of racing’s worst kept secrets that Mick would choose Hawk Wing, who has shortened to 5-4 favourite since confirmation of riding plans. Johnny Murtagh is due to partner High Chaparral.

There are 13 horses left in the Derby, though Dubai Destination is unlikely to run, leaving the Godolphin stable with two representatives, Naheef, the mount of Frankie Dettori, and Moon Ballad, winner of York’s Dante Stakes.

No less than nine of the 13 represent the two superpowers of European racing, the Maktoum family and the Coolmore-backed stable of O’Brien.

Other Derby news

One of the harshest critics of the Vodafone Derby’s entry system, Mark Johnstone, has entered both Bandari and Fight Your Corner in the race. The entries have cost £90,000 each. The horses will be competing against other runners for a share in the £1.2m prize fund.

Vodaphone has extended its sponsorship of theEpsom Derby for three years to include 2005. It also has a further two-year option beyond 2005. The company has sponsored the Derby meeting since 1995.

Visitors to the two-day meeting can keep up-to-date with the latest news, interviewsand information on a dedicated radio. The SoundDec Radio was launched a Cheltenham. The radios will be on sale at the course costing £8 each of £12 for two.

Football fans are also being catered for at Epsom with seven giant TV screens positioned around the racecourse enabling racegoers to watch the England v Argentina World Cup match live on Friday 7 June.

Visitors to the 2002 Derby meeting will be rubbing shoulders with the great and good, including The Queen, who continues her busy Golden Jubilee schedule with a visit to Epsom on Saturday for the colt’s classic.

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