Barney Roy to eschew Prix Jean Prat for the Eclipse

Barney Roy won the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on his most recent start

Barney Roy is highly likely to tackle Saturday's Coral-Eclipse at Sandown rather than taking up an alternative engagement in Sunday's Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly.

Trainer Richard Hannon stated earlier in the week he would be eager to try his St James's Palace Stakes winner over 10 furlongs in the Esher feature, but the colt was still among five possibles for the French Group One over a mile after Wednesday's forfeit stage.

However, Hannon has confirmed the Eclipse is the number one choice and is hopeful the Excelebration colt will handle the switch up in distance.

He said: "He's going to Sandown, that's the plan at the moment.

"He has always run to the line in his races which makes you think he would get the trip. He gets a 10lb pull off the older horses and has come out of Ascot really well."

BARNEY ROY, trained by Richard Hannon and ridden by James Doyle, wins the St James's Palace Stakes in fine style at #RoyalAscot. pic.twitter.com/yFkX4DQT2o

— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) June 20, 2017

Barney Roy is available at 7-2 with the sponsors for the Eclipse, with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Cliffs Of Moher leading the way as the 2-1 favourite.

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Eminent is a 9-2 chance as he teams up with a new rider in Silvestre de Sousa, as well as a changed set of tactics from trainer Martyn Meade.

Jim Crowley finished fourth in the Derby aboard the Frankel colt, but Meade has opted for a change as he seeks some certainty about the future availability of his rider.

He said: "He (De Sousa) is available to ride the horse and can continue to ride him without having to think about other commitments. He is very enthusiastic to do it and I think he will suit the horse.

"The problem with Jim was it was always a matter of if Sheikh Hamdan had another runner somewhere. Silvestre is riding out of his skin and he is very hungry for those Group One winners. I think he is the ideal person to ride him."

Meade will be looking to De Sousa to be positive in the Eclipse, abandoning the holding tactics employed in both the 2000 Guineas and Derby.

"He always comes from off the pace. In the Craven, he got a wonderful tow into the race from Rivet and that set it up for us. We want to try to get to that two-pole at Sandown and I think we will stay on better than anyone else," explained Meade.

"If you look back at the history of the Eclipse, it is those sorts of horses that are up there at the two pole that go on. I don't want the horse to be held up. This time let's have him handy, use him and prove he is the best horse in the race.

"If we have to make the running, maybe we will have to, but that is not the idea. Hopefully that won't be the case. Hopefully there will be a couple of front-running pacemakers in there.

"We want to be handy as we know he has got the stamina and we want to play on that strength – we know he has got the speed because of the Craven win.

"This is right in between and it has to be completely up his street."

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