Cecil and O'Brien in Eclipse encounter

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The Independent Online

Mount Nelson, trained by Aidan O'Brien, and Henry Cecil's charge Phoenix Tower are vying for favouritism for the next pitstop on the Group One circuit, the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday. Twelve were declared at yesterday's penultimate stage for the 10-furlong contest.

Both the market principals ran at Royal Ascot, where Mount Nelson came fifth to stablemate Haradasun in the Queen Anne Stakes and Phoenix Tower chased home another from Ballydoyle, Duke Of Marmalade, in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

Mount Nelson, who took the Criterium International at two, is one of only two top-level winners among the dozen, the other being last year's Champion Stakes winner Literato. Only three horses in the past 20 runnings have broken their Group One maiden in the Eclipse: Compton Admiral, Halling and Environment Friend.

Coral-Eclipse Stakes (1m2f Sandown, Saturday) sponsor's odds: 7-2 Mount Nelson, 4-1 Phoenix Tower, Multidimensional, 11-2 Pipedreamer, 7-1 Literato, 10-1 Maraahel, 12-1 Campanologist, 14-1 Rob Roy, 16-1 King Of Rome, 20-1 Stotsfold, 40-1 Hattan, 100-1 Plan