All eyes are on City Of Troy - again
All eyes are on City Of Troy - again

City Of Troy takes on seven in Coral-Eclipse at Sandown

City Of Troy faces seven rivals as he shoots for further Group One gold in Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge famously disappointed on his initial run this term when well beaten in the 2000 Guineas before roaring back to form with a two-and-three-quarter-length verdict in the Derby last month.

City Of Troy is long odds-on to strike over 10 furlongs for the first time in the weekend highlight, with stablemate and outsider Hans Andersen joining him on the trip to Esher.

This is the first Derby winner O’Brien has taken to the Eclipse and he has no qualms about bringing City Of Troy back in distance.

“Obviously he had an easy week or 10 days after Epsom and then his build up started slowly for the Eclipse, so that was the plan,” he said.

“When we got him back going we had the choice of the Eclipse or the Irish Derby, Los Angeles went for the Irish Derby and the plan was for City to come here. Obviously he’d never been on a turning track before, or an undulating one, he’d never been over further than a mile and he’d never been dropped in in a race so he had an awful lot to learn (at Epsom).

“Ryan (Moore) went out with the mindset that he was just going to let him relax and feel his way with him and that’s what he did. He was delighted, he said a furlong down he just took off and that is what we saw with him last year, which is a very unusual trait in a horse.”

As for the decision not to run Luxembourg, O’Brien added: “We felt Hans Andersen would be enough and he’ll go forward. Obviously in these championship races you want an even pace.

“Luxembourg might go to the King George with Auguste Rodin, that’s what we’re thinking at the moment.”

Horse Racing Podcast: Classic Chat

Dancing Gemini finished sixth at Epsom, beaten just over eight lengths, but he tries his luck again for Roger Teal after previously suffering a narrow defeat when second in the French 2000 Guineas. Kieran Shoemark takes the mount on Dancing Gemini as regular partner Dylan Browne McMonagle is required to ride Al Riffa for Joseph O’Brien, with the duo having finished a promising fourth in the Prix Ganay at the start of the campaign before the colt ran down the field in America last time out.

Jayarebe takes a steep hike in class for Brian Meehan after winning the Group Three Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot, having also won the Feilden Stakes earlier this term.

Owner Jeff Smith will be double-handed with both the Clive Cox-trained Ghostwriter and Andrew Balding’s See The Fire lining up. Ghostwriter has finished fourth in both the 2000 Guineas and French Derby this term and is towards the head of the betting, while See The Fire is a likely outsider having finished down the field in the 1000 Guineas before coming home fifth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Stay Alert completes the line up, making a swift return just seven days after taking a distant fifth place in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

As expected, White Birch was not declared with Aidan O’Brien’s Continuous and Luxembourg the others to miss out from an initial entry of 11.

Cox relishing Eclipse challenge with Ghostwriter

Clive Cox can’t wait to see Ghostwriter on much drier ground in the Eclipse.

“I think we are all realistic about what we saw in the Derby, which was a supreme performance,” Cox 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.”

He added: “Ghostwriter has always had that little bit of a swagger and a visible confidence in everything he’s done. 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.

“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.

“We are pleased to remain at a mile and a quarter and we are very much looking forward to Saturday. The way he finished off on the rising ground in the Royal Lodge was very pleasing and I see no reason why Sandown won’t suit him.”

Richard Kingscote, who has missed only one of Ghostwriter’s five races, is on board again for owner Smith, who enjoyed the first of many successes at this level 40 years ago.


Meehan eyes another Eclipse shock

Meehan, who won the Eclipse back in 2006 with David Junior, thought very carefully before declaring Jayarebe, mindful that the Eclipse comes just 16 days after the colt’s good win at Ascot.

Meehan said: “I know they thought King’s Gambit was an unlucky loser at Royal Ascot, but Sean (Levey) committed Jayarebe early and he hit the line strong. We ran a very straightforward race and I don’t think you could say we were lucky winners.

“He’s very progressive and apart from Chester, where he didn’t handle the track, he’s done nothing wrong. He’s very very good and he’s going to keep improving.”

Reminiscing about his 2006 win, he added: “David Junior was a great horse and won three Group 1s for me. He was very prolific and he’d already won a Champion Stakes and a Dubai Duty Free when he went to Sandown. The Champion Stakes and the Eclipse are bucket list races. They are high on everyone’s wish list, so it was great to win them both.”

More from Sporting Life

Safer gambling

We are committed in our support of safer gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.

Further support and information can be found at and

Like what you've read?

Next Off

Sporting Life
My Stable
Follow and track your favourite Horses, Jockeys and Trainers. Never miss a race with automated alerts.
Access to exclusive features all for FREE - No monthly subscription fee
Click HERE for more information

Most Followed