Saturday 21 April 2018

Cliffs of Moher leads O'Brien contingent in Coral-Eclipse

Cliffs Of Moher. Photo: PA
Cliffs Of Moher. Photo: PA

Thomas Kelly

Cliffs Of Moher and Barney Roy are two of the star names among 16 horses confirmed for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.

Aidan O'Brien's Cliffs Of Moher has had this race as his target since filling the runner-up spot in the Epsom Derby.

The Galileo colt heads a five-strong team for the Ballydoyle maestro, with the yard also responsible for Deauville, Johannes Vermeer, Orderofthegarter and Taj Mahal.

The Richard Hannon-trained Barney Roy was runner-up to Churchill in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, but reversed the form when landing the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He will step up to a mile and a quarter for the first time this weekend and is one of two Godolphin-owned contenders along with John Gosden's Jack Hobbs, who was bitterly disappointing in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at the Royal meeting.

Other contenders for a fascinating contest include Martyn Meade's stable star Eminent, the Roger Charlton-trained Decorated Knight, Mark Johnston's King Edward VII Stakes victor Permian and Ulysses from Michael Stoute's yard.

Meanwhile, the Jim Bolger-trained Turret Rocks and Ceol Na Nog are on the list of 15 entries for Saturday's Lancashire Oaks at Haydock.

On the local scene, Andrew Slattery's Branch Line looks the one to beat in the featured Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Race at Gowran Park this evening.

The son of Rip Van Winkle arrives in good form after winning over an extended six furlongs at Limerick last month.

He has form over a mile so this nine-and-a-half-furlong trip should not inconvenience him and it's worth noting that he was far from disgraced behind Irish Derby winner Capri in a Listed contest at Tipperary last August.

County Wexford trainer Katy Brown had her first winner with Secret Memories at Wetherby in June and the three-year-old filly has to be respected in the Gowran Park Handicap off 3lb higher.

Fascinating Lady appreciated quicker ground in Naas when finishing well for second. She has prospects of going one better in the BBQ Evening August 16th At Gowran Park Handicap.

Meanwhile, Olly Murphy starts the next chapter of his career today when he sends out his first two runners as a trainer. The 25-year-old, who spent fours years as assistant to Gordon Elliott, will saddle Dove Mountain and Varene De Vauzelle at Stratford.

Irish Independent

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