Cliffs Of Moher to Gain Compensation in Eclipse Stakes
Cliffs Of Moher has not run since finishing runner-up in the Derby at Epsom behind his stablemate Wings Of Eagles earlier this month as connections have highlighted the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown as the perfect race to return for their horse who will be dropping back down to 1m2f.
Source: Racing Post via Twitter
It would be unfair to say Aidan O’Brien’s colt did not stay the Derby trip as he finished ahead of 16 horses and was finishing the contest strongly under a well-timed run at the hands of Ryan Moore. Sadly for his connections, he just could not match the speed of the winner, who found an extra gear inside the final furlong.
The Eclipse trip and track at Sandown should be perfect for Cliffs Of Moher. He won over ten furlongs in the Dee Stakes at Chester’s May meeting on his opening start of the campaign. That listed race was on good-to-firm ground so if it does end up on the firm side at the Esher track, he will have no problems handling the fast conditions.
Cliffs Of Moher has been installed in the Eclipse betting at 4/1 for the middle distance contest, which is open to all age groups. If successful, he will be the third three-year-old to come out on top in the last three years. Derby winner Golden Horn defeated former Prix du Jockey Club winner The Grey Gatsby in 2015, while 12 months ago, Hawkbill got the better of The Gukha and Time Test over the 1m2f trip.
Jack Hobbs Set To Lead The Challenge Against Cliffs Of Moher
Connections of Jack Hobbs will feel their horse has unfished business after missing large parts of 2016 due to a leg injury he picked up early into the campaign in the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes. The five year old made a successful start to his new season in the Sheema Classic at the Dubai World Cup meeting back in March. Under the guidance of William Buick, John Gosden’s runner tracked the leaders in the early stages and hit the front at the two furlong pole to prevail by two lengths.
Source: Hipismo Mundial via Twitter
The worry for Jack Hobbs backers has to be that the horse has not won the UK since September 2015, when he came out on top in the Group Three September Stakes. His sole Group One victory in the UK or Ireland came in the Irish Derby over 1m4f. He will be stepping down in trip from his success in Dubai and there is nothing on his form card to suggest he is a better horse over 12 furlongs.
Churchill Among Early Entries
Both Churchill and Highland Reel are among the early entries for the Eclipse, however, it would be a surprise to see either horse on the day of the race at Sandown. The double Classic winner Churchill is likely to be remain at a mile where he has been so dominant this year, while the King George VI Stakes at Ascot should be the next target for Highland Reel where he will be looking to defend his crown.
The Eclipse Stakes will be live on ITV1 this year and will take place at 3.45 with the final declarations being made 48 hours before the race.