Racing: Eddery travelling in Europe's slow lane

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The Independent Online
WHAT HAS happened to Pat Eddery? The 10-times champion jockey is the most noticeable absentee from the list of top 10 riders to have won prize money in European Group One races this season. Nineteen of these top-level events have taken place in 1994 - eight in France, five in England, four in Italy and two in Ireland. In those, Eddery has managed to gain only pounds 4,577, the least of all the 34 jockeys to have accumulated any earnings, and that was for finishing a poor fourth of five on Zindari in the Prix Jean Prat.

What is perhaps most worrying for Eddery is the lack of rides he has gained in the feature events.

The Irishman has had only seven mounts in these races. And, of those seven Monsun, who was sixth in the Coronation Cup, is the only horse he has ridden for an owner other than his retainer, Khalid Abdullah.

At the same stage last year, Eddery had contested 11 of the 19 Group Ones, and had bagged a record-breaking Guineas success on Zafonic. He also had the mouth watering prospect of riding Commander In Chief, the Derby winner, in future Group One races.

Willie Carson, on the other hand, has pocketed the most prize money this term, with Muhtarram, who scored in the Premio Presidente della Repubblica, adding to the Scotsman's Irish 1,000 Guineas victory on Mehthaaf, and a sensational Derby triumph on Erhaab, all for Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Perhaps, however, the riding honours should go to John Reid. Turtle Island, out on his own when winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas by 15 lengths, and second in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000); Colonel Collins, third in the 2,000 Guineas and Derby; Las Meninas, winner of the 1,000 Guineas and runner-up in the Irish equivalent; and Alriffa, third in the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) last Sunday, have already given Reid a season to remember.

Walter Swinburn, who is retained by Maktoum Al Maktoum and has a proven big-race record, is having only a marginally better time than Eddery with pounds 48,261 to his name.

Among the trainers, John Dunlop heads the field, with Erhaab and Mehthaaf providing him with two Classic winners. Peter Chapple-Hyam, responsible for Turtle Island, Colonel Collins and Rubhahunish, who was third in the Derby Italiano, is chasing Dunlop but trails by pounds 216,505.

In France, all eight Group One races have gone to the home defenceand they have also collected Britain's Coronation Cup through the Andre Fabre-trained Apple Tree.

Unusually though, Fabre and Francois Boutin are not dominating the training ranks across the Channel. Pascal Bary is the leading French trainer in terms of Group One prize money, with Celtic Arms's two Group One victories, which include the Jockey-Club, taking his total to pounds 341,848.

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