Saxon Warrior 11-10, is vying to become a record-equaling seventh derby victor for trainer Aidan O'Brien, and first to complete a Guineas-Derby double, since Camelot for the same connections, six years ago.
Saxon Warrior could only finish fourth after meeting trouble in running.
Sheikh Mohammed has been so loyal to me so it is special to win.
"These races are always tight - the victor got first run and I followed him through so I can't have too many excuses".
A day after the Oaks was won by the father and son team of Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien, this time a father and son were first and second, with Dee Ex Bee, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, finishing behind Sheikh Mohammed's Masar.
Despite having his stamina to prove over a mile and a half having never raced beyond an extended mile, Masar confirmed the optimism Appleby had in him getting the trip when bursting through under William Buick approaching the two-furlong marker. "These things happen, but I wouldn't be making excuses", said O'Brien.
"I've come close a couple of times, I think I've had seven or eight rides and while I know people have had more without winning I was wondering if my time was ever going to come", he added. The word is that the favourite is an outstanding colt, and the horse that won the Dante (Roaring Lion) was very impressive.
"We will take him home and see how he is". It's only his fifth run.
The form of Shenanigans (2.35) second to Nayaleti at Goodwood last month was given a boost when that filly won a Group 2 in Germany last weekend and I hope to see the Roger Varian-trained filly go one better in the listed Princess Elizabeth Stakes.
Johnston said: "We came here with doubts about his effectiveness on the track and I'm not sure it suits".
In the opener at Epsom, Shuhood scooted home at Newmarket last time and with the jockey's 5lb claim, looks well placed to follow up.
"Since I wanted to be a jockey this was the day I was dreaming of".
"Because of the camber he rolled on to the one on his inside, but he rallied again up the hill so it bodes really well for the future".
"I'm just delighted to be here and part of it".