| 11.9°C Dublin

O'Brien brings Eclipse down to six

Ante-post favourite Twice Over heads a select field of just six runners set to go to post in Saturday's Coral-Eclipse at Sandown after Ballydoyle withdrew five of its six runners.

Henry Cecil's charge was last seen finishing second in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and he will be bidding to atone for his disappointing effort in the 2009 renewal.

The five-year-old is one of two runners for owner Khalid Abdullah, with the Michael Stoute-trained Zacinto also sporting his colours as he tackles 10 furlongs for the first time.

John Gosden's Dubai Sheema Classic winner Dar Re Mi has her first start since that Meydan success in March, while Marcus Tregoning's Mawatheeq will be aiming to improve on his unplaced Royal Ascot reappearance.

Last year's race was set alight by the victory of Sea The Stars, but Viscount Nelson is the only representative from the three-year-old ranks this time. Aidan O'Brien relies on the French Derby fifth after withdrawing his other five runners.

Godolphin's Chabal and Jukebox Jury, the intended mount of Kieren Fallon, were the other two defections.

Sri Putra completes the sextet for the Michael Jarvis operation.

Mark Johnston decided to swerve a trip to Sandown with Jukebox Jury after assessing his possible rivals. "Everything is fine with him, we just decided against running at Sandown," he said.

"We confirmed him just before 12 noon on Monday with what we thought were six runners in the race, but we later found out there were 13 left. I wouldn't have confirmed him if I had known there were going to be that many still in.

"It still looks a tough race and we're happy enough to give it a miss with him."

The four-year-old won the Jockey Club Stakes on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket earlier in the year before running down the field in the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Although he is entered in the Princess of Wales's sportingbet.com Stakes on Newmarket's July Course next week, Johnston may also opt from running there.

"He's in a Group Two at Newmarket next week but I've got an open mind on plans for him," he added. "I would be happy to give him a break."


Privacy