The ongoing saga of the maiden filly Diore Lia and her owner's attempt to run her in the G1 Investec Derby took yet another turn Thursday when a replacement jockey was named to ride the filly in Saturday's Derby.
According to a report in the Racing Post, owner Richard Aylward has named Paddy Pilley to ride Diore Lia in the Derby. Pilley replaces Gina Mangan on the rank outsider, who is listed as a 1,000-1 chance to win the Blue Riband of the Turf.
On Wednesday, the British Horseracing Authority announced that it would prohibit Mangan – an apprentice who has never ridden at Epsom – from piloting the filly. Mangan took out her license in 2009, but has only ridden one winner in 69 mounts since then. After the ban was announced, Aylward said he wouldn't run Diore Lia if Mangan couldn't ride.
Aylward had a change of heart, apparently, due to his efforts to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“The horse is declared to run,” Aylward said. “How could I stop the horse running when there have been donations coming from America? The charity is the number one. That's why I started this over a year ago. They are not stopping us running over this.”
Aylward then added, “Poor Gina has been crying up in the yard. I am disgusted with the BHA for what they have done. It was okay for Victoria Pendleton to go round Cheltenham after riding a bike all her life. It's elitist.”
Somewhat ironically, jockey Pilley is also an apprentice, but one with a bit more experience and victories than Mangan. According to the Post, Pilley, 19, began riding in pony races as a youngster. He took out his license in 2014, and recorded two wins in 40 starts that year, and 25 in 2015. He then headed to Australia, where he rode five winners in sixty starts during the three months he was there.
Since returning to England, Pilley has 34 winners in 469 mounts. He has also ridden at Epsom, unlike Mangan.
The BHA was quick to give its stamp of approval of the rider change, issuing a statement saying, in part, “The BHA considers it appropriate to accept the declaration of Patrick Pilley to take the ride on Diore Lia in the Derby.”
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