Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 14:48 01/07/2014
Despite finishing a respectable fourth behind The Fugue in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot it was a slightly disappointing run from the William Haggas-trained Mukhadram who appeared to be unsuited by the change in tactics with the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned 5-year-old being held up off a pace set by the owner's Elkaayed. The son of Shamardal seems happiest when allowed to dictate matters, something which is more than a strong possibility in Sandown's Coral-Eclipse this Saturday, and at the 14-1 available with several bookmakers including Ladbrokes and Coral rates the early value in the 1m 2f Group 1 contest.
Angus Gold, the owner's racing manager, admits that the tactics used at Ascot didn't really come off, saying: " I saw we got more stick in the Racing Post today for the tactics at Ascot. We've always made plenty use of him but interestingly those closest to him have always found he has quickened well when ridden from behind. Rather than him doing all the hard work himself, we tried a pacemaker to see if he could quicken in a high-class race. It didn't work on the face of it, but the pacemaker may have gone too quick; everyone ignored him and Kevin Manning ( on Parish Hall ) controlled the pace, which didn't play to our strengths."
Whichever way the race is run this weekend it is going to take a hurculean effort from the winner to claim the race worth £435k as this, unlike last Saturday's Irish Derby, is a proper Group 1 contest with the likes of The Fugue, Night Of Thunder, Verrazano and War Command in opposition but on fast ground front runners can prove very difficult to peg back at Sandown and Paul Hanagan and Mukhadram are more than capable of causing a shock if given a free reign in the early stages, especially if in the same kind of form the pair showed when second in the Dubai World Cup back in March.