Racing: Erhaab overshadows Eclipse entries

Click to follow
The Independent Online
ERHAAB was added to the field for the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday as expected at yesterday's supplementary stage, and there are now 12 horses in the pounds 250,000 Group One event. However, a combination of the Derby winner's presence, likely fast ground and a valuable contest in France the following day seems likely to diminish the contest's competitiveness.

Muhtarram, the Prince of Wales's Stakes winner at Royal Ascot, and the 1993 St Leger winner Bob's Return are both expected to contest the Grand Prix de St Cloud on Sunday, and were not quoted when Coral, the sponsors, opened a book on the race yesterday. The firm makes Erhaab the 4-7 favourite, with Turtle Island, the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, next at 100-30, followed by 7-1 Ezzoud and Environment Friend, 25-1 Prince Of Andros, 33-1 Bin Ajwaad and Perfect Imposter, 40-1 bar.

Turtle Island, though, may also be missing. Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt was a late absentee from the 2,000 Guineas in April due to fast ground, and the going at Sandown is good to firm.

Ezzoud is expected to take part, while Bin Ajwaad, recently returned from a long injury layoff, is a definite runner whatever the ground. Also likely to take on Erhaab are Environment Friend, winner of the Eclipse in 1991, and Jim Bolger's Perfect Imposter, unplaced in the Coronation Cup at Epsom earlier this month. Bolger believes Saturday's shorter trip will suit him ideally.