Magical to renew rivalry with Enable in Eclipse
Victory for O’Brien filly in Group One would secure record-equalling sixth title for handler
Ryan Moore aboard Magical who is set to take her chance in the Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday. Photograph: Peter Mooney/Inpho
Magical will have to overcome history and the dual-Arc heroine Enable if she’s to secure a record-equalling sixth Eclipse Stakes for her trainer Aidan O’Brien on Saturday.
Just two fillies – Pebbles in 1985 and the Irish star Kooyonga in 1992 – have ever won the Eclipse although the distaff side to the 13-strong entry for this weekend’s highlight top the ante-post betting.
Enable is a 6/5 favourite in some lists to make a successful return to action in the mile-and-a-quarter race.
She has not run since beating Magical in last November’s Breeders Cup Turf and is set to begin her campaign to become the first horse ever to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three times.
Magical is a general 5/1 next best to gain revenge although closely followed by her St James’s Palace Stakes winning stable companion Circus Maximus (11/2) among the 13 left in at Monday’s forfeit stage.
Magic Wand, Hunting Horn and Flag Of Honour are also contenders to give O’Brien a sixth Eclipse success.
That would put the Irish man level with contemporary Sir Michael Stoute and also with Alec Taylor who won it half a dozen times between 1909 and 1923.
O’Brien’s last win was with So You Think in 2011 and Magical will have to succeed where superstar fillies of the past such as Indian Skimmer, Islington, Ouija Board and Snow Fairy have failed in the Eclipse.
In other news Ken Condon’s high-class maiden Celtic Beauty could try to break her duck in Newmarket’s Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes later this month.
On her third start Celtic Beauty was runner up to Daahyeh in Royal Ascot’s Albany Stakes and Curragh-based Condon reported: “We’ll look at the Duchess Of Cambridge [July 12th] or if we felt she needed a bit longer there’s the Princess Margaret [July 27th] and later on the Lowther at York.”