Mars 5-1 for Eclipse as O’Brien declares three for Group One contest
Eight horses have been declared at the five-day stage for Saturday’s Group 1 Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park.
Aidan O’Brien has left last year’s Derby winner Camelot in along with Royal Ascot winner Declaration Of War and St James’s Palace Stakes third Mars. It had been rumoured earlier in the week that Camelot may be retired following defeats at the Curragh and Ascot but he appears to have earned a temporary reprieve.
Coral have Mars at 5-1 following his unlucky runs at both Epsom and Ascot. He was noted putting in his best work in the closing stages of the Derby and was one of the worst sufferers of the interference at the Royal meeting. He was blocked in his run at a crucial stage and did well to battle back to claim third spot behind Dawn Approach and Toronado.
Richard Hannon has removed Toronado from the equation leaving Mars to represent the three-year-olds in the mile and a quarter event. The value of the Derby form took a knock at the weekend when Trading Leather comfortably beat the first three home at Epsom.
Declaration Of War looks the least likely of O’Brien’s trio to take part on Saturday following his win in the one mile Queen Anne Stakes. If he were to be declared later in the week it would certainly add an interesting new ingredient to a race billed as a re-run of the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.
That race was won by Roger Charlton’s Al Kazeem who cut down long-time leader Mukhadram with The Fugue staying on well to take third. With no pacemakers declared, it was be presumed that Paul Hanagan will adopt the same front-running tactics on Mukhadram.
Both the first and second appeared to have hard races at Ascot and John Gosden is optimistic that The Fugue will finish closer than on her seasonal reappearance.
The German-trained Pastorius will represent trainer Mario Hofer following his success in the Group 1 Prix Ganay in April. Last year he won the German Derby and finished within a length of Arc winner Danedream at Baden Baden.
The field is completed by Clive Brittain’s Miblish who finished behind Al Kazeem at Ascot and Mukhadram at Sandown.