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Guide to the 16 entries left in the Coral-Eclipse

4 Jul 2017

There are 16 possibles left in the Sandown showpiece on Saturday

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs Of Moher is favourite for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Sixteen entries remain in contention for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday. It is the first time in the season that the three-year-olds will have clashed with the older rivals in Group 1 company.

Golden Horn and Hawkbill have won the past two renewals, for the Classic generation, but the previous five renewals had been won by the older brigade.

Here’s our guide to the possibles for the QIPCO British Champions Series contest, which is run over a mile and a quarter. The final field will be revealed on Thursday morning.

OLDER HORSES
ALGOMETER
(General odds: 66-1)
Trainer: David Simcock
Seventh in the Investec Derby last year and having only his third run since when runner-up in the Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown last time. Others have much stronger form claims.

DEAUVILLE (16-1)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Won the Belmont Derby last year and well served by this trip/fast ground. Seemed to up his game when third to Ribchester in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, when dropped back to a mile, and should again make his presence felt.

DECORATED KNIGHT (15-2)
Trainer: Roger Charlton
The five-year-old seems to be thriving on his racing and split Highland Reel and Ulysses in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, having previously won the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh. Combination of trip/fast ground suit and should put up another bold show.

DESERT ENCOUNTER (40-1)
Trainer: David Simcock
Has a progressive profile and again ran well in defeat at Goodwood last time, but this would represent another jump in class and his best efforts have been over 1m4f (boasts winning form at up to 1m6f).

JACK HOBBS (6-1)
Trainer: John Gosden
The dual Group 1 winner is officially the highest rated entry left in the race – his official rating is 123 – but needs to bounce back after a disappointing effort on fast ground in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

JOHANNES VERMEER
(20-1)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Has had a few problems since winning in Group 1 company as a two-year-old but seems to be getting back to that level and won a Group 3 prize with bit to spare at the Curragh on Sunday. Would be making a swift return and trainer has other possibles.

LIGHTNING SPEAR (20-1)
Trainer: David Simcock
High class miler who was third in the QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last season. Chased home Ribchester in the Lockinge Stakes on his return but rare below-par run in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot latest and not certain to appreciate longer trip.

ULYSSES (8-1)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute
Regally bred colt impressed when winning at Sandown on his return before finishing a close third behind Highland Reel and Decorated Knight in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. Entitled to again be on the premises.

BLOND ME (50-1)
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Mare landed a Group 2 prize in Turkey last season and won again at that level at York last time. Requires more here but genuine performer who is proven at the track.

THE THREE-YEAR-OLDS
BARNEY ROY
(7-2)
Trainer: Richard Hannon
The QIPCO 2000 Guineas runner-up went one better in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and, having had only four starts, the best is probably still to come. Unraced beyond a mile but shapes as if he will stay.

CLIFFS OF MOHER (11-4)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Was having only his fourth start when caught close home by Wings Of Eagles, his stablemate, in the Derby. The Epsom form has been franked and, not short of pace, he is unlikely to be inconvenienced by dropping back in distance.

EMINENT (9-2)
Trainer: Martyn Meade
Sixth in the QIPCO 2000 when the trip was possibly too short before finishing a close fourth in the Investec Derby when the trip was possibly a bit too far. This intermediate trip could be ideal and he is a big player.

ORDEROFTHEGARTER (16-1)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Twice a winner over a mile in the spring and there has been more improvement upped to a mile and a quarter. Chased home Benbatl in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, having previously been a close sixth in the French Derby.

PERMIAN (14-1)
Trainer: Mark Johnston
Standing up well to a busy schedule – winning the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, having won the Dante Stakes in May. In between he came up short in the Derby and something to find with Cliffs Of Moher and Eminent on that running.

SALOUEN (66-1)
Trainer: Sylvester Kirk
Placed twice in Group 1 races as a two-year-old and better than the bare form suggests in the Derby and at Royal Ascot on his past two starts. However, this represents another tough task.

TAJ MAHAL (66-1)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
One win from 13 starts point to his limitations. Has put up some smart efforts in defeat, though, including when a close fourth in the French Derby. Sixth in the Irish version last Saturday.