Sunday 24 September 2017

Camelot spearheads Ballydoyle challenge for Eclipse honours

DESPITE suggestions that Camelot might be retired, last year's Derby hero is among three Aidan O'Brien-trained horses in a select line-up for Saturday's Coral-Eclipse Stakes.

Winner of the 2,000 Guineas last season, as well as both Epsom and Irish derbies, Camelot has failed to rediscover his best in three outings this term.

Having been a well-beaten second to Al Kazeem at the Curragh, the son of Montjeu could only finish fourth to the same horse at Royal Ascot last time out. Al Kazeem has already been installed ante-post favourite as he seeks his third straight Group One success.

Roger Charlton's inmate just got up to edge out Mukhadram at Ascot, and the runner-up is in line for a rematch having been left in by William Haggas. O'Brien has also entered Queen Anne victor Declaration Of War and St James's Palace Stakes third Mars, though the former is unlikely to run.

The Fugue, third to Al Kazeem at the Royal meeting, represents John Gosden, who won the race last year with Nathaniel, while German contender Pastorius and the Clive Brittain-trained Miblish complete the possibles.

Meanwhile, Alive Alive Oh is to go straight to the Darley Irish Oaks after being a late withdrawal from the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday. The Tommy Stack-trained filly was taken out of the 10-furlong Group One after she was found to be in season on the morning of the race.

It was the second time in 10 days that she has been an eleventh-hour absentee from a big race after missing the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot because the ground was considered too quick. She will now be prepared for the fillies' Classic at the Curragh on July 20.

Irish Independent

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