Al Kazeem 6-1 for Coral Eclipse after Curragh win
Roger Charlton’s Al Kazeem caused a major reshuffle in the ante-post market for the Coral Eclipse with a shock victory over Camelot at the Curragh on Sunday. Last year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby winner had been expected to give Aidan O’Brien a fifth successive victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup but had no answer to the late swoop of Al Kazeem and James Doyle.
Coral’s reacted by pushing Camelot out to 5-1 for the Eclipse and cutting Al Kazeem to 6-1. Dawn Approach remains the 5-2 favourite but the prospects of him lining up at Sandown will become much clearer after next week’s Epsom Derby. Al Kazeem missed the whole of last season due to a minor fracture but this was a career-best performance. Aidan O’Brien was not too concerned by Camelot’s defeat and he remains on course for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Just The Judge impressively won the Irish 1000 Guineas, boosting the form of the Newmarket equivalent in which she had finished second to Sky Lantern. Jockey Jamie Spencer reported that he was always comfortable on the 2-1 favourite and believes that she may prove even better over a mile and a quarter. It was a first classic success for trainer Charlie Hills who must now decide whether to go to Ascot for the Coronation Stakes and a possible rematch with her Newmarket conqueror.
The news that Saturday’s Irish 2000 Guineas winner Magician is still under consideration for the Derby prompted a 4-1 quote from Coral. Immediately after the race it seemed that the Epsom classic may come too soon but O’Brien has confirmed that he will definitely declare the colt and leave a decision until later in the week. His presence would certainly breathe new life into the Derby betting as he would pose as serious threat to long-time favourite Dawn Approach.
As expected, Hugh Morrison’s Cheshire Oaks winner Banoffee has been supplemented for the Oaks on Friday. She is quoted at 8-1 behind 5-2 favourite Secret Gesture and will be ridden by Kieren Fallon.