Eclipse Whittled Down To Four

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Mishriff | DRC/Mathea Kelley

Saturday's G1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown has been cut to four after Thursday's confirmation stage, with Aidan O'Brien declaring just St Mark's Basilica (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) from his three initial entries left in earlier this week. With David Menuisier also opting to wait with Christopher Wright's Wonderful Tonight (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}), that means that Ballydoyle's G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains and G1 Prix du Jockey Club hero faces two main rivals in the multiple Group 1 winners Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}) and Addeybb (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}) plus the Jockey Club also-ran El Drama (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). John Gosden said he thinks that the small field stands up in terms of quality as he prepares Prince Faisal's homebred for a potential third top-level success having garnered last year's Prix du Jockey Club and the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on his last start Mar. 27, as well as the Saudi Cup.

“I know it is a small, elite, purist field but what people have to realise is that it is a lot of money to enter these races, it is a lot of money at the first forfeit stage and it is a lot of money to confirm,” he said. “When you have the likes of the front three here, they are not easy to take on so I think people slightly take that view point.”

“I've got tonnes of respect for Addeyyb,” Gosden added. “I think he is a wonderful horse. He has won a Champion S. and he has won in Sydney. There is talk about some rain on Saturday afternoon and if the rain came, that is something Addeyyb would enjoy immensely.”

Tom Marquand is keeping an eye on the weather ahead of Addeybb's European return and said, “As we know, Addeybb is entirely ground-dependent and any more rain will help, but provided it's suitable for him to run then he ought to have every chance. It's a small field, but it's good horses against good horses and that's just what you want in a race like the Eclipse.”

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