No horse since Sir Henry Cecil’s Oath in 1999 has defied the inside stall.
However, the unbeaten Saxon Warrior overhauled today’s rival Roaring Lion to win last year’s Racing Post trophy at Doncaster, a result that saw O’Brien set the world record for Group One wins in a calendar year.
Saxon Warrior oozed brilliance in winning the 2000 Guineas to spark dreams of winning the Triple Crown if he wins the Derby and then the St Leger at Doncaster.
“He’s in good form and everything has gone well since the Guineas,” said the Ballydoyle handler. “I haven’t spoken to Ryan about the draw, but I’d imagine he would have been taking his time on him anyway.
“We were always looking forward to stepping him up in distance, but in the 2000 Guineas he travelled like a miler and quickened like a miler. However, we have always thought he was going to be a middle-distance horse – he is very good.”
Should he be successful, O’Brien will equal the record of seven Derby wins and also runs Delano Roosevelt, Kew Gardens, The Pentagon and Zabriskie.
The 12-strong field includes Dee Ex Bee from the Middleham yard of Mark Johnston.
Meanwhile, Dermot Weld is under no illusions about the task facing Hazapour with Frankie Dettori deputising for Pat Smullen in the saddle as the latter undergoes medical treatment for a tumour.
Weld said: “The word is that the favourite (Saxon Warrior) is an outstanding colt, and the horse that won the Dante (Roaring Lion) was very impressive.
“We are just hoping to run a very good race. I’m very pleased with him. He is a balanced, level-headed, nice colt. He’s progressive and whether he’s good enough, only time will tell.”