Montjeu is Champion favourite

Montjeu is 7-4 with a run with Coral for the Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. The John Hammond-trained colt, only fourth to Sinndar in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, was among 20 declared for the race yesterday. However, John Magnier and Michael Tabor Montjeu's owners, also have Giant's Causeway, the multiple Group One winner, in the race.

Montjeu is 7-4 with a run with Coral for the Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. The John Hammond-trained colt, only fourth to Sinndar in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, was among 20 declared for the race yesterday. However, John Magnier and Michael Tabor Montjeu's owners, also have Giant's Causeway, the multiple Group One winner, in the race.

Sir Michael Stoute may saddle both Kalanisi, runner-up to Giant's Causeway in both the Eclipse Stakes and the International Stakes, and Greek Dance, runner up to Giant's Causeway in the Irish Champion Stakes. Johnny Murtagh is likely to partner Kalanisi. Henry Cecil could run Shiva, last year's runner up, and Love Divine, the Oaks winner , while Sakhee, runner up to Sinndar in the Derby, may represent John Dunlop.

The going at Newmarket is good to soft. One for whom mud would be no problem is Holding Court, who won the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) by six lengths in soft ground in June. However, Michael Jarvis's charge, only fifth behind Samum in the Grosser Preis von Baden last time, has the Prix du Conseil de Paris at Longchamp on Sunday as an alternative engagement.

Tobougg, the Mick Channon-trained Prix de la Salamandre winner, heads the 20 declarations for the Dewhurst Stakes. Craig Williams, who rides Tobougg, said yesterday: "I'm on a very smart horse. Everything he does now is a bonus for what he's going to be like next year. He gives me that feeling every time you work him, he's got a great attitude."

Aidan O'Brien, typically, has left 10 in the contest. O'Brien's squad include Minardi, the Middle Park Stakes winner and favourite for next year's 2,000 Guineas until his position at the head of the market was usurped by Nayef at the weekend, Beckett the National Stakes winner, and Hemingway. Henry Cecil has declared Vacamonte, favourite for the 2,000 Guineas prior to his flop in the Solario Stakes at Sandown. Noverre, winner of the July Stakes at Newmarket and the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and supplemented for the race for £15,000, represents Godolphin's Evry operation.

The 23 declarations for the Rockfel Stakes include Luca Cumani's Summer Symphony, runner-up to Crystal Gift in the Fillies' Mile at Ascot.

Barba Papa and Tryphaena head a powerful Irish challenge for the Cesarewitch. Tony Martin's Ascot (Handicap) Stakes winner and the Willie Mullins-trained Tryphaena head the betting for the two-mile-two-furlong handicap for which 42 were declared yesterday. Spirit Of Love's presence at the top of the handicap on 9st 10lb leaves 22 set to carry more than their true handicap weights, including the 1997 winner Turnpole, who will be ridden by Jamie Mackay.

CHAMPION STAKES (Newmarket, Saturday) : Coral: 7-4 Montjeu (with a run), 9-4 Giant's Causeway, 100-30 Kalanisi, 9-2 Greek Dance, 11-2 Shiva, 8-1 Indian Danehill, 11-1 Indian Lodge, Love Divine, 12-1 Distant Music, Sakhee, 16-1 others. William Hill: 5-4 (with a run) Montjeu. 11-4 Giant's Causeway, 4-1 Kalanisi, 9-2 Greek Dance, 5-1 Shiva, 10-1 Indian Danehill, Sakhee, 12-1 Indian Lodge, Love Divine, Slickly, 14-1 Holding Court, 16-1 Distant Music, 50-1 Alshakr, Barathea Guest, Border Arrow, 66-1 Compton Bolter, 100-1 Almushtarak, Gold Academy, Shoal Creek, 200-1 Lermontov.

CESAREWITCH (Newmarket, Saturday) : Ladbrokes: 6-1 Barba Papa, Tryphaena, 9-1 Ansar, 10-1 Silent Warning, 11-1 Eastwell Hall, 12-1 Dominant Duchess, Hero's Fatal, 14-1 Praire Falcon, 16-1 others.

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