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.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
News
i100
Sport
footballLatest scores and Twitter updates
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties