City Of Troy Faces Seven In The Eclipse

City Of Troy | PA Media


Ballydoyle's Derby-winning TDN Rising Star City Of Troy (Justify) will face seven rivals in Saturday's G1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown following Thursday morning's confirmation stage. While the self-titled “clash of the generations” is missing key representation among the older brigade after it was announced that White Birch (GB) (Ulysses {Ire}) would be missing from the line-up, the four other 3-year-olds preparing to take on the long odds-on favourite include Jeff Smith's smart Ghostwriter (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and trainer Clive Cox is hopeful of a bold show.

“I think we are all realistic about what we saw in the Derby, which was a supreme performance,” he said. “We are highly respectful of that, but we feel that a mile and a quarter at Sandown is the best route for Ghostwriter and just hope that conditions remain on the drier side.” Fourth in the G1 2,000 Guineas and G1 Prix du Jockey Club, Ghostwriter may not have had his ideal conditions until now and his trainer is happy that he has the right material for this 10-furlong test. “He's a colt we've always held in high regard and he was an admirable two-year-old, when he was unbeaten and he finished off with a very good win in the Royal Lodge Stakes. I still think there's more to come,” he added.

“His fourth in the Guineas was another commendable effort and that form has been franked by the Hannon colts Rosallion and Haatem. They finished just in front of him at Newmarket and have flown the flag for the Guineas since in Ireland and at Royal Ascot. We hoped he'd deal with what we thought would be just slightly easier ground in France, but the times were reflective of proper soft ground and I think it just took a little bit of his punch away from him.”

Richard Kingscote will renew his partnership with Ghostwriter, while Jeff Smith also has the Andrew Balding-trained filly See The Fire (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}). David Fish's Dancing Gemini (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), who was second in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains and sixth in the Derby, re-opposes from the Roger Teal yard along with Kieran Shoemark on board for the first time. Sean Levey will ride the Brian Meehan-trained G3 Hampton Court Stakes winner Jayarebe (Fr) (Zoffany {Ire}) for Iraj Parvizi.

The field is completed by Al Riffa (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), Stay Alert (GB) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) and City Of Troy's stablemate Hans Andersen (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

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