Kinane's plum Derby mount
From JIM McGRATH in London
MICK Kinane has received a call-up notice to ride for Saudi billionaire Khalid Abdullah in this year's English Derby on June 2 - and it is odds-on he will be aboard the current second favourite Commander In Chief.
Kinane had earlier received offers to ride 20-1 chance Geisway, winner of Goodwood's Predominate Stakes, as well as the American visitor Wolf Prince, who will be a first Derby runner for former jumps supremo Michael Dickinson.
But the Irish champion jockey has rejected those approaches to ride for the man who is at present European racing's most successful owner in the Classic race which will be telecast live to Hongkong racegoers at Happy Valley.
Abdullah's Tenby, the choice of Pat Eddery, is Derby favourite at 8-13 but the colt is drifting in the market by the minute following reports of a most disappointing gallop at Newmarket on Saturday morning.
Commander In Chief, on the other hand, has been reintroduced to the market at 6-1 after impressing in the same workout, and now with confirmation that Kinane is virtually certain to be aboard, that price can be expected to shrink further in the next few days.
Both Tenby and Commander In Chief are trained by Henry Cecil, who is bidding for his third Epsom triumph.
Meanwhile, Lester Piggott brought a premature end to the annual ''What does Lester ride in the Derby?'' question when announcing that he partners Fatherland for Vincent O'Brien.