City Of Troy and White Birch Star in Coral-Eclipse Confirmations

City Of Troy | PA Media

Following Monday's confirmation stage, City Of Troy could face up to 10 rivals as he attempts to become the first Derby winner since Golden Horn (GB) in 2015 to follow up in Saturday's G1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

Disappointing on his first start of the campaign in the G1 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, City Of Troy bounced back to form with a sparkling performance at Epsom, fully confirming the promise he showed when unbeaten in three starts as a two-year-old.

The son of Justify is as short as 8-15 with the sponsors to complete the Derby/Eclipse double at Sandown, where he could be joined by up to three stable-mates from Ballydoyle, namely Classic hero Continuous (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}), the winner of last year's G1 St Leger, four-time Group 1 scorer Luxembourg (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) and Hans Andersen (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

The main danger according to the betting is likely to be the John Murphy-trained White Birch (GB) (Ulysses {Ire}), who turned over another of Ballydoyle's star names when making the breakthrough at the top level in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last time. That three-length defeat of Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) was his third victory from as many starts this season, before an unsatisfactory blood test ruled him out of Royal Ascot.

“The Coral-Eclipse is renowned for being the first clash of the Classic generation against their elder rivals over the 10 furlongs trip,” Coral's David Stevens said of the Sandown highlight. “In City Of Troy versus White Birch we have a Derby hero taking on a Group 1-winning four-year-old, with this pair dominating the betting on this year's race.”

The potential raiding party from Ireland is completed by Joseph O'Brien's Al Riffa (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), while Stay Alert (GB) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) could make a quick return to action having run in Ireland as recently as Saturday when finishing fifth in the G1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

Meanwhile, City Of Troy is one of five possible three-year-old runners, along with Royal Ascot winner Jayarebe (Fr) (Zoffany {Ire}) and Derby sixth Dancing Gemini (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), plus the Jeff Smith-owned pair of Ghostwriter (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and See The Fire (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}).

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