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Al Kazeem adds Coral-Eclipse to Group One haul

Updated: Saturday, 06 Jul 2013 23:03 | Comments

Al Kazeem is disputing favouritism for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Al Kazeem is disputing favouritism for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Al Kazeem landed his third Group One success of the season when digging deep to claim the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

As at Royal Ascot in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, the Roger Charlton-trained five-year-old entered the business end of the race with the front-running Mukhadram as the one to catch, and again the pair settled down to fight it out.

It appeared Al Kazeem had got on top when they came close together, with Paul Hanagan squeezed up on Mukhadram as he was eventually passed for second by Declaration Of War.

Al Kazeem ran on strongly in the closing stages, holding Declaration Of War by two lengths as the 15-8 favourite.

Winning rider James Doyle said: "I'm very lucky to be sat on his back, he's a good horse and he's proved that today.

"I was kind of hemmed in and when the split came I had to take it but I ended up getting there sooner than I wanted.

"He just had a look close home, it's typical Sandown, he just rolled to the rail and that's all he's done.

"I had my stick in my right hand and when he got there he just pricked his ears and rolled in a bit.

"He won pretty well. It's a fantastic feeling, brilliant."

Charlton said: "I was a little worried Joseph O'Brien (on Declaration Of War) might hem him in, which probably forced James' hand a little bit to get there maybe earlier than he wanted to get there.

"I'm immensely proud of him and my jockey, and the owner-breeder."

"I think it ought to be (a break) now, it's not my decision but I'd be reluctant to keep him going for the King George. He's had three races on pretty firm ground and I think he deserves a break.

"Then we can decide whether it's the Juddmonte International or the Irish Champion Stakes, but I would have thought the Irish Champion is better timing, and then yes it would be good to run in the Arc.

"I think the horse has shown he has terrific guts and bravery. He's progressed and I think he is a proper horse."

Angus Gold, racing manager to Mukhadram's owner Sheikh Hamdan, said: "I thought he ran a fabulous race, I think without the interference we'd have been pound for pound with the winner, as it was at Ascot.

"The winner is a very good horse."

O'Brien, who also had the fourth, Mars, said of Declaration Of War: "He ran a very good race, but he is probably a miler.

"He doesn't stop but it is his courage that keeps him going.

"We'd be happy to go back to a mile, maybe for something like the Sussex Stakes."

John Gosden's The Fugue, third in the Prince of Wales's, trailed home last of the seven.

Gosden said: "She was never really travelling at any stage. Everything was fine beforehand, but when they run as badly as that, it's a mystery."

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