Al Kazeem (right) and Mukhadram could clash again at SandownPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Coral-Eclipse target for
Prince of Wales's stars
NEXT month's Group 1 Coral-Eclipse is shaping up to be a rerun of last week's Prince of Wales's Stakes after connections of the first three home, Al Kazeem, Mukhadram and The Fugue indicated the Sandown race on Saturday week was on their list of targets.
Al Kazeem accounted for Mukhadram by a neck with The Fugue a fast-finishing third at Royal Ascot seven days ago.
Connections of Mukhadram, who made a gallant bid to make all the running at Ascot, are set to make a definite decision at the weekend about the four-year-old, who is a best-priced 7-1 for the Group 1.
Trainer William Haggas said: "In my mind the Eclipse is a good option for Mukhadram. We will see how he's got over his Royal Ascot exertions this week but it looks the obvious race for him. We will wait until the weekend and have a chat with Sheikh Hamdan and his racing manager Angus Gold."
The Fugue, who was making her seasonal return at Royal Ascot, was on Tuesday given the go-ahead for Sandown after connections ruled out a more immediate option at The Curragh on Sunday.
Trainer John Gosden said: "We had considered the Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland on Sunday, a race we won last year with Izzi Top, but we have decided it comes too quickly for The Fugue, who we are now pointing at the Eclipse."
John Gosden: happy with The Fugue after her Ascot comebackPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Sponsors Coral eased The Fugue to 5-1 (from 4). Reflecting on Ascot, Gosden added: "The Fugue ran a lovely race considering she had come through a long winter. She is very much one for the second half of the season."
Al Kazeem was thought likely to return to Ascot for a crack at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 27 but trainer Roger Charlton now has his Royal Ascot winner primed for Sandown, with the Irish Champion Stakes another stopping point on the intended route to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on October 6. Al Kazeem was cut to 6-4 (from 7-4) for the Eclipse by the sponsors.
Sandown clerk of the course Andrew Cooper is excited by the prospect of a Royal Ascot rerun at the course's flagship meeting.
He said: "It would be great to see the first three from the Prince of Wales's Stakes in the Eclipse and I believe the German horse, Pastorius, is also coming over. Experience tells us connections wait until Royal Ascot is over before deciding about Sandown."