Seamie Heffernan was named yesterday as rider of the hot favourite So You Think in tomorrow's Eclipse Stakes. He replaces Ryan Moore, who was beaten on the ex-Australian superstar at Royal Ascot last month and will be on the horse's perceived chief rival Workforce in the Sandown showpiece.
Heffernan, who notched his 13th top-level career win on Misty For Me in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh six days ago, was in the saddle for So You Think's first victory, in a minor race, after his transfer from Bart Cummings in Melbourne to Aidan O'Brien in Co Tipperary. But then Moore took over when the four-year-old stepped back up to Group One company, winning at the Tattersalls Gold Cup before his Prince Of Wales's Stakes defeat.
So You Think is as short as 4-6 to restore his reputation in the Eclipse, for which five were declared yesterday, with Workforce, last year's Derby and Arc hero, a best 2-1 next choice. The other runners are Snow Fairy, the 8-1 third favourite, last year's runner-up Sri Putra and Workforce's pacemaker Confront.
Moore's presence on Workforce, from his retaining stable of Sir Michael Stoute means a new jockey, too, for Snow Fairy. Moore has ridden her to her last four victories, most recently in Hong Kong in December; Johnny Murtagh will ride the Ed Dunlop-trained filly tomorrow.
Heffernan has regularly put more fancied runners from his own yard in the shade, notably when winning the Irish Champion Stakes on Cape Blanco last year and the Irish 1,000 Guineas on Misty For Me in May, when he beat stablemate Together, ridden by Moore.
All these glittering young Flat stars, though, should bow humbly to the 14-year-old sprinter The Tatling, who returned to an emotional ovation at Yarmouth yesterday after notching his 17th victory on his 170th appearance. The remarkable gelding, trained by Milton Bradley, now plies his trade in lowly grades, but his tally includes the Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot seven years ago.
Chris McGrath's nap
Ritual (2.20 Sandown) Rose steadily through the ranks in his brief first season and can carry on where he left off. Well-regarded enough to hold a Stewards' Cup entry.
Kitty Wells (5.05 Sandown) As a sister to the St Leger winner Milan, she should be at home as she tries a mile and three-quarters for the first time.
One to watch
Golden Slipper (Chris Wall) will start her handicap career on a modest rating that she will surely exploit on her favoured easy ground.Reuse content