Monday 11 December 2017

Declaration of War could take his chance in the Eclipse

Declaration Of War
Declaration Of War

Aidan O'Brien has stripped his potential runners in Saturday's Coral-Eclipse down to two with Mars and maybe Declaration Of War in the shake-up.

Three-year-old Mars, who was a career-best third to Dawn Approach in the St James's Palace Stakes, is the only guaranteed starter at this stage but Declaration Of War could yet step up to a mile and a quarter after his Queen Anne victory.

Camelot, beaten twice by Eclipse favourite Al Kazeem this season, is the only one of the trio left in the race to miss out.

An update on Coolmore's website said: "Currently Mars is a probable runner in the Eclipse Stakes on Saturday, Declaration Of War is also a possible for the race.

"At the moment Camelot is unlikely to run, he hasn't really been himself this season and is going on the easy list for the rest of the month."

Connections of Mukhadram have no objection to the colt striking from the front once again in the Group One showpiece.

The four-year-old, trained by William Haggas, made a gallant attempt to make all the running in the Prince of Wales's Stakes but was caught in the dying strides by Roger Charlton's Tattersalls Gold Cup winner and beaten a neck.

Mukhadram came out of that race in excellent shape and showed his well-being ahead of the rematch with a spin on the gallops on Wednesday morning.

"William (Haggas) was thrilled the way he took the race and how he came out of it," said Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, told At The Races.

"Richard Hills rode him a pipe-opener this morning and was absolutely delighted with the horse, that he moved beautifully.

"Paul (Hanagan) rode a beautiful race on the horse at Ascot. He set his own pace, kicked off the bend and had them all in trouble for a bit and it took what I feel is the best older horse in Europe all the Ascot straight to catch him.

"It was well above our horse's previous best and a great thrill.

"We've always said this horse doesn't need to make the running, but he's got a lovely long stride. If anything else wants to go on, fair enough.

"He's a horse you wouldn't want to settle out the back and use for his speed. He's got that great action, a good stride on him and a high cruising speed so I'm sure he'll be there or thereabouts.

"He's just stronger - he's matured and he's turning into a high-class horse."

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