Friday, July 05, 2013

Coral Eclipse 2013

I think this year's Eclipse looks closer than the layers' prices would have us believe.

Al Kazeem's neck defeat of Mukhadram in The Prince of Wales's Stakes, with filly The Fugue three and three quarter lengths back in third, is a key piece of form. That day The Fugue was ridden well off the pace and can be expected to finish closer; in recent days Willie Haggas has sounded bullish about his charge's chance of reversing placings with the favourite.

Coolmore saddles two - Mars finished sixth in the Derby and then three lengths third behind Dawn Approach in the St James's Palace Stakes over a mile at Royal Ascot while Declaration Of War won the Queen Anne at the same meeting. The latter-named could be underestimated as Animal Kingdom, the 5/4 favourite that day, failed to run his race but on official ratings the colt has a bit to find.

It would be dangerous to totally write off Prix Ganay winner Pastorius on the back of a disappointing effort at Kranji last time.

Fillies have a terrible record; just two have obliged (Pebbles 1985 and Kooyonga 1992) since the inaugural running in 1886 while the Classic generation benefits from its weight allowance but has only come out on top five times in the past twenty years (Compton Admiral 1999, Giant's Causeway 2000, Hawk Wing 2002, Oratorio 2005 and Sea The Stars 2009).

Paul Hanagan is likely to try and make all again on Mukhadram; the colt doesn't possess the same turn of foot as the favourite but I like a tough front-runner so, at the prices, previous course and distance winner Mukhadram (8/1 with Paddy Power at the time of writing) is the selection.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Maybe on the day itself Willie Haggas wasn't quite so bullish but Mukhadram (15/2) put up a decent effort from the front.

He was still ahead at the furlong pole but Al Kazeem (15/8f) loomed large and had the selection beaten when hanging badly right half a furlong out.

Paul Hanagan's effort on Mukhadram was checked; as a result he lost momentum and with that lost second spot to Declaration Of War (4/1).

The inevitable stewards' enquiry followed but the placings remained unaltered.