Al Kazeem 6-4 as Ascot trio prepare for Coral Eclipse rematch
The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes was undoubtedly one of the highlights of Royal Ascot last week and it is looking increasingly likely that the first three home will clash again at Sandown next month.
Jockey Paul Hanagan was widely praised for the ride he gave Mukhadram who only gave best to Al Kazeem in the dying strides after forcing the pace from the outset. A decision will be made on his participation this weekend following discussions between trainer William Haggas and owner Sheikh Hamdan.
The Fugue was one of several John Gosden horses to run extremely well at the meeting following a long lay off. Although she never looked like catching the front two, she stayed on strongly into third and will side-step Ireland’s Pretty Polly Stakes to wait for the Eclipse.
Immediately after the Ascot race, trainer Roger Charlton appeared to be favouring the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes on 27th July for Al Kazeem. He initially feared that the race may come a little too soon but has now drawn up a plan that also includes the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
Another probable runner in the Eclipse is the German-trained Pastorius, winner of the Group 1 Prix Ganay in April. Last season he won the German Derby for trainer Mario Hofer and he defeated the useful pair Maxios and Dunaden at Longchamp.
The early indications from the Richard Hannon yard is that Toronado will head to Goodwood for a rematch with Dawn Approach whilst Mars is now the shortest of the Aidan O’Brien horses in the ante-post market. He suffered interference in the St James’s Palace but still stuck on well to take third and he would certainly be an interesting contender at a mile and a quarter.
Al Kazeem is currently priced at 6-4 with Mukhadram and The Fugue at 5-1 and Mars at 8-1. The race takes place on Saturday 6th July with a post time of 3.50.