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Al Kazeem doubles up in Coral-Eclipse to stamp himself a superstar

6 Jul 2013

The Roger Charlton-trained Al Kazeem put up another impressive performance to land the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park today in what was almost a re-run of the Prince of Wales's Stakes which he won at Royal Ascot.

Al Kazeem and James Doyle celebrate after their Coral-Eclipse triumph at Sandown Park this afternoon. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Al Kazeem won his third succesive Group 1 race this afternoon and his second in the QIPCO British Champions Series when he confirmed his status as Europe’s top middle distance older horse by winning the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park.

He tracked the pace-setting Mukhadram in what was a similar race to the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot two and a half weeks ago when the pair fought out a tight finish.

This time Mukhadram did not set quite such a furious pace and Al Kazeem was always ready to pounce.

When he reeled in the leader inside the final furlong and went past, he drifted to the right, hampering Mukhadram.

The best horse won, but Mukhadram almost certainly would have finished second again without the interference and the winning rider, James Doyle, was hit with a five day ban for careless riding as a result.

It was the Queen Anne Stakes winner, Declaration Of War, who profited, getting up for second close home, two lengths behind the winner.

Mukhadram was third and Mars, the only three-year-old in the race, took fourth, with a big gap back to the other three runners.

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe remains the main target for Al Kazeem, but we hope we may also see him in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.

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 added: "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."