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Favourite Valyrian Steel ruled out of the Old Newton Cup after ground eases

Roger Varian: has withdrawn Valyrian Steel from the Old Newton Cup
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Valyrian Steel, the favourite for this afternoon's Old Newton Cup, has been ruled out on account of the softening ground at Haydock.

Another favoured conteder, Aaddeey, has also been ruled out, as have Grand Bazaar, Lost Eden and Pirate King. 

Zabeel Champion and Dark Jedi have now assumed favouritism for the £100,000 handicap at 11-2, with the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Longsider next-best at 7-1.

St Mark's Basilica is the clear favourite for the four-runner Coral-Eclipse (3.35) at Sandown later this afternoon as Aidan O'Brien goes for his sixth victory in the historic Group 1. 

The three-year-old has won the French 2,000 Guineas and French Derby already this season and is now a 5-4 shot (from 6-4) to claim a fourth career Group 1 success. 

This year's Dubai Sheema Classic winner Mishriff has drifted out to 7-4 (from 6-4), with Addeybb next best in the market at 100-30 generally. Outsider El Drama is 28-1.


Non-runners

Sandown

2.25: Beat Le Bon
3.00: Ready To Venture
5.15: Aggagio, Balearic, Big Boy Bobby 

Haydock

1.30: Kimifive, Tintoretto
3.15: Aaddeey, Grand Bazaar, Lost Eden, Pirate King, Valyrian Steel
3.50: Adaay In Asia, Lady Dollars
4.25: Judicial, Caleco, Motagally
4.55: Ballintoy Harbour


Elsewhere, Happy Romance has been clipped into 22-1 (from 40) for the Coral Charge (1.50), while Pythagoras has been backed into 5-1 favouritism (from 7-1) for the Coral Challenge (2.25).

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: "A small but boutique field for the first great clash of the generations and so far punters have sided with young pretender and French Classic winner St Mark’s Basilica who has been solid at the top of the market, while Saudi Cup and Sheema Classic hero Mishriff is on the drift."

The going on the round course at Sandown ahead of an exciting eight-race card is good, good to soft (in places) on the round course and good to soft on the sprint course.


Paddy Power market movers

Sandown

1.50 Happy Romance 28-1 (from 40)
2.25 Pythagoras 5-1 (from 6)
3.35 St Mark’s Basilica 5-4 fav (from 11-8 fav)

Haydock

2.05 Tashkhan 11-2 (from 7)
2.40 La Lune 8-1 (from 9)
3.15 Dark Jedi 8-1 (from 10)


Saturday's big-race previews:

The Saturday Jury: 'He has a very good chance' – jockey Sean Levey on his weekend prospects (Members' Club)

1.50 Sandown: is Arecibo a good thing? Graeme Rodway on what the Ascot sectionals tell us

2.05 Haydock: Dhushan seeking a hat-trick for William Haggas in red-hot three-year-old handicap

2.25 Sandown: Tom Collins on Montatham's chances as he returns to a familar hunting ground

2.40 Haydock: 'I don't think she's ever trained better' – George Boughey on his Oaks runner-up

3.15 Haydock: Graeme Rodway on why we could be seeing a different kind of Sir Mark Prescott plot

3.35 Sandown: big-name trainers on their Group 1 contenders in the Coral-Eclipse this Saturday

3.35 Sandown: why this Eclipse could show us a champion – just not the one you might think (Members' Club)

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Elsewhere, Happy Romance has been clipped into 22-1 (from 40) for the Coral Charge
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