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Runner-by-runner guide to the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown

Sat 8 Jul 2017

Need a hand finding the Coral-Eclipse winner? Read analysis by Tom Peacock plus watch vital galloping clues

By Tom Peacock

Nine runners have been declared for the £500,000 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday. Here's a guide to their chances.

1 DECORATED KNIGHT

Trainer: Roger Charlton (1 previous win)

Jockey: Olivier Peslier

General odds: 8-1

Becoming a bit of a favourite these days after sterling Group One victories in Dubai and Ireland. While hardy and reliable, again running a stormer to finish second in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, there remains a suspicion he will always fall slightly short in white-hot competition.

2 DESERT ENCOUNTER

Trainer: David Simcock

Jockey: Sean Levey

General odds: 33-1

Brought through steadily and reaping the rewards as a five-year-old, winning an Ascot Listed race and running Second Step close in another at Goodwood. Trainer is no fool but this seems a highly optimistic entry on what he has achieved so far.

3 LIGHTNING SPEAR

Trainer: David Simcock

Jockey: Oisin Murphy

General odds: 20-1

Has been a fantastic miler and unlucky not to have taken a Group One yet after such distinguished placed efforts in the likes of the Lockinge and the QEII. Stamina is not guaranteed and a tough place to be stepping up in trip, especially after a moderate run in last month’s Queen Anne.

4 ULYSSES

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute (5 previous wins)

Jockey: Jim Crowley

General odds: 15-2

Still a ‘nearly horse’ at this standard and a shade disappointing he did not pick up better when third in the Prince Of Wales. Although the ground will be faster, he has the valuable asset of a recent course win and this places him at the head of the older brigade.

5 BARNEY ROY

Trainer: Richard Hannon

Jockey: James Doyle

General odds: 3-1

Exciting colt who looked a little unlucky not to win the 2000 Guineas before gaining his revenge in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Connections believe he will stay the extra quarter mile but this is by no means guaranteed on breeding and his speed could be blunted.

6 CLIFFS OF MOHER

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien (5 previous wins)

Jockey: Ryan Moore

General odds: 7-4

Looked to have made a Derby-winning move a couple of furlongs from home only to be robbed by his unconsidered stablemate Wings Of Eagles almost on the line. Profile suggests drop back to this distance ought to be perfect and the type to continue improving for the Aidan O’Brien juggernaut.

7 EMINENT

Trainer: Martyn Meade

Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa

General odds: 4-1

Flying the flag for both Frankel and his lesser-known trainer, he was reported to have clocked 40mph on the gallops recently. A length behind Cliffs Of Moher in the Derby and a matter of conjecture as to whether he would have been closer but for a slight squeeze.

8 SALOUEN

Trainer: Sylvester Kirk

Jockey: William Buick

General odds: 33-1

Hardy sort who has represented his trainer well with several Group One placings at two, as well as running respectably in the King Edward VIIth Stakes. He will have his day in the sun, but it is probably not going to be here.

9 TAJ MAHAL

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien (5 wins)

Jockey:

General odds: 66-1

Out on a weekly basis at the moment, often on pace-setting duties, but enough ability to finish fourth in a French Derby. Never underestimate his stable’s second string but another supporting role seems far more probable.

RACINGUK.COM VERDICT

A top-notch older horse can give away 10lb in this classic meeting of the generations but there is no doubt the weight-for-age allowance always draws the eye to the better three-year-olds. Unoriginal as it is to pick the favourite, CLIFFS OF MOHER seems the most solid prospect at 10 furlongs to maintain Aidan O’Brien’s form over Barney Roy and Eminent. Ulysses looks the best of the older horses.

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