John & Thady Gosden’s Mishriff heads the market for Saturday’s Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park where he will partner David Egan once again, with whom he has secured top-level successes at Riyadh and Meydan so far in 2021, respectively.
The Make Believe colt has enjoyed most of his success on an international stage, racking up a Group 1 and Group 2 in France last season, including the Prix Du Jockey Club at Chantilly, before his exploits in Asia this campaign.
He reopposes William Haggas’s Addeybb this weekend, after the duel Queen Elizabeth Stakes hero thrashed him on Champions Day at Ascot back in October under Tom Marquand, before attaining more glory Down Under earlier this year.
Haggas told Sky Sports Racing that he will be hoping for the heavens to open ahead of Saturday’s feature event.
“He needs a run and my forecast says there is a chance we’ll get some rain on Friday and Saturday.
“What will be, will be.”
We’ve had this in mind since he got back from Australia so we’re pleased to be there.
“He’s quite durable, but the ground on both occasions in Australia was not as soft as he’d like.”
Two-time French Classic winner St Mark’s Basilica sandwiches the pair in the market for Aidan O’Brien, who hasn’t won this race since 2011 but connections put their hopes on last season’s Dewhurst hero to overturn that statistic.
Roger Varian’s El Drama, who won a Listed race at Chester in May, was well put in his place across the English Channel by his Saturday Ballydoyle rival when finishing way down the pack and looks a rank outsider on that merit in Esher.
With only a quartet of contenders declared, David Menuisier says that just four runners for the track’s biggest flat race of the year “a sad state of affairs”.
He told the Racing Post: “We saw there were only six others confirmed and then people complain about prize-money, I just find it stupid.
“Let’s face it, without talking about mine, if you look at the six – half of them are obviously top-class animals, and half of them are probably below that level.
“The ground will be near enough good. I just find it sad there are only a handful of horses in such a big, historic race.”