05/24/2005 11:00PM

Murtagh may lose Epsom ride


Motivator, the 5-2 favorite for the June 4 Epsom Derby, found himself temporarily riderless for the 1 1/2-mile classic after Johnny Murtagh was handed a three-day suspension for "careless riding with increased interference" at Lingfield on Tuesday.

If Murtagh loses his appeal of the June 4-6 ban, Darryll Holland will pick up the plum ride.

Meanwhile, trainer John Hammond has picked Alan Munro to ride his French invader Walk in the Park in the Derby. Munro, who rode Generous to win the 1991 Epsom Derby, returned to the saddle this spring after a four-year retirement and has ridden 19 winners since.

Kieren Fallon, who rode Walk in the Park at Lingfield, is committed to ride one of Aidan O'Brien's runners, probably the Dee Stakes winner, Gypsy King.

Ladbrokes' current Epsom Derby odds are Motivator, 5-2; Dubawi, 9-2; Gypsy King, Oratorio 6-1; Grand Central and The Geezer, 12-1; Fracas, Scorpion, and Walk in the Park, 14-1; Kong 20-1.