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Published: 16:03 | 9/5/16

O'Brien has faith in Ranger

Aidan O'Brien has not lost faith in US Army Ranger despite his unconvincing win in last week's MBNA Chester Vase.

After an impressive win on his debut at the Curragh in April, the son of Galileo jumped to the head of the market for Investec Derby and was the warm favourite to take the Group 3 at Chester.

Although he took the honours, he only defeated stable companion Port Douglas by a short head to leave many unconvinced about his Derby credentials.

O'Brien, however, believes he will improve for the run and is confident he will give a good account of himself at Epsom on June 4.

"I know everyone is knocking this horse, but they shouldn't be," O'Brien said. "I was very happy with it (his run at Chester) as often we have one horse that everyone latches on to.

"If we hadn't have ran Port Douglas at Chester, the other horse would have been an eight-length winner and would be a very short price for the Derby.

"At Chester he had to learn more in one race that he should be learning in two or three races.

"He's the horse that's probably open to the most improvement and he'll now have an easy enough time before the Derby.

"I'm just going to hope he's not too babyish and will be able to

"Everyone is knocking this horse, but they shouldn't be. I was very happy with his win at Chester as most the time we have one horse that everyone latches on to but not this year.

"If we hadn't have ran Port Douglas at Chester, US Army Ranger would have been an eight-length winner and would be a very short price for the Derby."

Meanwhile, O'Brien is considering leaving off the headgear when Air Force Blue runs in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday week.

The War Front colt was named champion juvenile last term but he was a big disappointment in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, finishing 15 lengths behind winner Galileo Gold.

O'Brien does not know if the son of War Front will stay the trip but is planning a change in tactics in the hope of getting the best out of the colt.

"I don't think the tongue tie will be left on. Anything I did for the English Guineas, I won't do again as it was a dramatic failure, really," O'Brien said.

"It was put on because his work was very good, but his second last piece of work I was shocked how quick he was.

"Sometimes when you put a tongue tie on a horse and a cross noseband, it can make them slow down a little bit and he did that straight away in his canters.

"You are making calls all the time and sometimes you can make very bad calls. If you think something will make a horse better, I would always rather do it and not be afraid to say it was the wrong call afterwards. Everything we do is in good faith at the time.

"I would imagine the noseband and the tongue tie will be off. It will be interesting. I still won't believe that he is going to get a mile until I see it, but I would imagine looking at his work recently he is going to travel very strong early. That is his natural way of doing it.

"He wants good ground and he wouldn't run if the ground was soft.

"The Curragh comes at a good time and it sorts out your plans for Ascot. It will be his last chance in a Classic against three-year-olds over a mile. He could make progress to the Curragh and to Ascot."

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