Coolmore declare War on Eclipse

Declaration Of War has jumped to a prominent position in the betting for Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse at Sandown after owners Coolmore suggested the colt was a “possible” runner.

Coolmore declare War on Eclipse

The sponsors introduced the Queen Anne Stakes winner as the 7-2 second favourite behind the 15-8 chance Al Kazeem.

Only Mars appears a guaranteed starter for the Aidan O’Brien ahead of today’s confirmations, with the sole three-year-old in the field running a career-best to take third behind Dawn Approach in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

But Declaration Of War, who was impressive over a mile in Berkshire, has already won over similar trips to the 10 furlongs including a Group Three at Dundalk last October. The only one of O’Brien’s trio to miss out is last year’s Guineas and Derby hero Camelot, who has been beaten twice by Al Kazeem this season.

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.”

Coral spokesman David Stevens said: “Declaration Of War bounced back from his Lockinge disappointment in style to win the Queen Anne, and his participation in Saturday’s race adds extra spice to the Coral-Eclipse, and he could well challenge his fellow Royal Ascot winner Al Kazeem for favouritism in the coming days.

“We took the decision not to quote him after Monday’s entry stage, but obviously we are delighted that he is set to run, and will settle any bets struck since then as betting without Declaration Of War.”

Connections of Mukhadram have no objection to the colt striking from the front once again after he was caught by Al Kazeem in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

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,” 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 and a high cruising speed so I’m sure he’ll be thereabouts. He’s just stronger – he’s matured and he’s turning into a high-class horse.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox