Racing: Eclipse in the sights of Weld's firepower

Dermot Weld, still flying after Zagreb's annihilation of the best Britain could muster in the Irish Derby on Sunday, may be gunning for the old enemy again at the weekend if Definite Article comes over for the Eclipse Stakes.

The four-year-old is among 10 declared for Sandown's summer showpiece. His rivals at this stage include the Derby hero, Shaamit, last year's Eclipse winner, Halling, and Pentire, the best 10-furlong three-year-old last season and put in as 5-2 favourite by the Group One race's sponsor, Coral.

Definite Article, who failed by a whisker to give Weld his first local Derby last year, beat Timarida and Annus Mirabilis in the Tattersalls Gold Cup over 10 furlongs in May, but is among Saturday's outsiders at 16-1. His trainer, however, warned against underrating the colt, saying yesterday: "If I send him - and he's 75 per cent likely to run, depending on his weight and blood picture later in the week - then he'll run a very good race. He's a big tough horse, and although the distance may be a shade short for him, he'll appreciate any cut in the ground and at 16- 1, he's cracking each-way value.''

After Dushyantor's defeat in Ireland on Sunday, Shaamit, rated an 11- 2 shot with William Hill for Saturday, will have a point to prove about the Derby form, but yesterday his trainer, William Haggas, said the colt was only 50-50 to run. "He missed a few days with his foot injury and blew a bit after he galloped on Saturday," Haggas said. "I'll know more after he works on Wednesday."

Haggas, while admitting he was mightily impressed by Zagreb's Irish Derby win, was still disappointed that his champion had to miss the race. "I didn't think Dushyantor ran his race; Pat [Eddery, who will be on board Shaamit on Saturday if he runs] seemed to be too hard at work too far out. Zagreb won like a good horse, but mine's a good one too and I would like to have had a crack at him."

You have to go back 13 years to find the last Derby winner not to start favourite on his next outing - Teenoso, second favourite to Caerleon when both were beaten by Shareef Dancer in the Irish Derby - but the perceived weakness of this year's Epsom form is such that Shaamit occupies only second or third place in the bookmakers' lists.

Halling, who disappointed when last behind Cigar in the Dubai World Cup, has since regained winning ways back on grass in the Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp in May. He is a definite starter, but his Godolphin stablemate Charnwood Forest, winner of the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, is not.

Godolphin director Simon Crisford said: "John Reid will ride Halling, but a decision about Charnwood Forest will be made later in the week. If he does not run, he'll go straight for the Sussex Stakes."

Another Royal Ascot mile winner, Bijou D'Inde, will try his luck over the extra two furlongs. His trainer, Mark Johnston, never one to duck a challenge, said: "The only place to find whether he stays or not is on the course. In the St James's Palace Stakes he looked as if he was staying on and could get further, but he is so versatile. We could drop him back to six furlongs and he'd take it in his stride.''

Pentire has had the Eclipse as his target since running a fine fourth in the Dubai World Cup, and though he has not been seen in public since, he has been sparkling in his homework. The other British-trained entries are Singspiel, beaten a neck by Halling last year and runner-up (for the third time in a Group One contest) in the Coronation Cup last month, and the outsiders Beauchamp King and Ela-Aristokrati.

The French have not won an Eclipse since Javelot scored in 1960 - although Trepan was disqualified after beating Wollow in 1976 - and will rely on this season's Prix Ganay and Harcourt victor, Valanour. The four-year- old, who will be bidding to give the Aga Khan his first win in Britain for nearly six years, was confirmed yesterday by his trainer, Alain de Royer-Dupre, a runner as long as the going remains good or better.

Eclipse Stakes (Sandown, Saturday) Coral: 5-2 Pentire, 9-2 Shaamit, 5- 1 Halling, 11-2 Charnwood Forest, 7-1 Bijou D'Inde, Singspiel & Valanour, 16-1 Definite Article, 25-1 Ela-Aristokrati & Beauchamp King.

One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all