Sport : Horse Racing

Report

  • 15:50 Coral-Eclipse 1m 2f 7y

  • Weighed In - (Class 1), £425,000 added, 3yo+, 7 runners
  • Winner £241,018 2nd £91,375 3rd £45,730 4th £22,780
  • Going: Good to Firm, Firm in places Surface: Turf

Result

  • Weighed In

  • Winning time: 2m 4.35s
  • Off time: 15:51:07
Pos Horse Odds
1st Al Kazeem 15/8
2nd Declaration Of War (USA) 4/1

Al Kazeem wins again

6th July 2013, 05:46pm

Al Kazeem goes clear as Mars swerves to avoid the hampered Mukhadran

Al Kazeem goes clear as Mars swerves to avoid the hampered Mukhadran

Al Kazeem gained his third consecutive Group One in the space of six weeks after a terrific Coral-Eclipse at Sandown marked by some drama.

While it appeared the greatest racehorse of Roger Charlton's career had once again managed to overcome the persistent front-runner Mukhadram, Al Kazeem nonetheless hung across and hampered the eventual third in the final stages to leave his trainer William Haggas fuming.

Now the winner of the Tattersalls Gold Cup, Prince of Wales's Stakes and this mile-and-a-quarter all-aged decider, all roads lead to the European final and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for Al Kazeem.

Paul Hanagan resumed the same frontrunning tactics which had so nearly paid spectacular dividends until Al Kazeem caught him at Royal Ascot, but his rivals were wary of allowing him too much of an advantage this time.

James Doyle and 15/8 favourite Al Kazeem had to make sure he would not be denied room as the field packed together, but initiated the battle with Mukhadram inside the final couple of furlongs.

With only around 100 yards to go, the winner drifted across in a move which cost the jockey a five-day careless riding suspension (July 20-24), forcing his rival to check badly in the last strides.

Declaration Of War, who took the Queen Anne over a mile and was being bravely stepped up in trip by Aidan O'Brien, passed Mukhadram for second but was a comfortable two lengths adrift of Al Kazeem at the post.

"I was looking back through the record books for the last time Beckhampton (his historic Wiltshire stable) won the Eclipse, through the likes of Noel Murless, but it was back in 1926 through Fred Darling's Coronach, who also won the Derby and the St Leger," said Charlton.

"This gives me a lot of pleasure as we, and his owner John Deer, have had to wait with him.

"Obviously winning the Derby with Quest For Fame was great, and we've had horses like Sanglamore and Cityscape, but this horse is already rated 126 and is clearly the best horse I've trained. He looks like he should be a good horse, and he has shown terrific bravery."

Looking at the race, Charlton said: "I was a little worried Joseph O'Brien (on Declaration Of War) might hem him in, which probably forced James's hand a little bit to get there maybe earlier than he wanted to get there.

"It's not my decision but I'd be reluctant to keep him going for the King George. He's had three races on pretty firm ground and I think he deserves a break.

"Then we can decide whether it's the Juddmonte International or the Irish Champion Stakes, but I would have thought the Irish Champion is better timing, and then yes, it would be good to run in the Arc."

Deer, a keen rugby fan who had earlier enjoyed watching the Lions' historic victory over Australia, said: "It had been a great day already. I hope this horse turns out to be the best horse bred in Wales.

"We've had three great days this year with him, and I'm not bothered what he does now. I'd like to breed from him eventually, but we'll keep our options open for now and I'll discuss it all with Roger."

Doyle later described the ban as "harsh" and could yet appeal, having earlier said: "He just had a look close home, it's typical Sandown, he just rolled to the rail and that's all he's done.

"I had my stick in my right hand and when he got there he just pricked his ears and rolled in a bit.

"He won pretty well. It's a fantastic feeling, brilliant."

Haggas was too upset by events to comment, but Hanagan said: "I'd have definitely been second, as he was fighting back."

Angus Gold, racing manager to Mukhadram's owner Sheikh Hamdan, said: "I thought he ran a fabulous race, I think without the interference we'd have been pound for pound with the winner, as it was at Ascot. The winner is a very good horse."

O'Brien, who also had the fourth-home Mars, said of Declaration Of War: "He ran a very good race, but he is probably a miler.

"He doesn't stop but it is his courage that keeps him going.

"We'd be happy to go back to a mile, maybe for something like the Sussex Stakes."

John Gosden's The Fugue, third in the Prince of Wales's, trailed home last of the seven.

Gosden said: "She was never really travelling at any stage. Everything was fine beforehand, but when they run as badly as that, it's a mystery."


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