St Mark’s Basilica put up a hugely impressive display to beat top-class older horses Addeybb and Mishriff in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
Winning his fourth successive Group One race, St Mark’s Basilica was giving trainer Aidan O’Brien a sixth Eclipse triumph.
Sent off the well-backed even-money favourite, the three-year-old son of Siyouni powered away from his talented opponents in the final furlong under Ryan Moore.
Tom Marquand had sent Addeybb into the lead straight from the stalls, with Mishriff for close company. St Mark’s Basilica was held up in third, with El Drama last of the four as they travelled in single file.
There was no change in the order until David Egan on Mishriff drew alongside Addeybb and hit the front. It was a short-lived lead, however, as St Mark’s Basilica stormed past the pair and quickly put the race to bed.
He won by three and a half lengths from Addeybb, who rallied past Mishriff to take second place.
Moore said: “I was hugely impressed. He’s run against two horses who have proven to be as good as there is anywhere around the world – Mishriff has done it on every surface and Addeybb has basically beaten up horses in Australia for the last couple of years.
“He’s very exiting. He’s a straightforward horse, but he’s got a very good turn of foot. When I asked him to do his job he picked up and put the race away very quickly.
“You’d have to be delighted with what he’s done this year.”
O’Brien said: “He’s a lovely horse, everything is very relaxed and he’s a good mover.
“He quickens and has a great mind – he does everything.
“We felt he had stepped up since the last day and Ryan gave him a beautiful ride. I’m delighted for everybody.”
Asked about targets, the Ballydoyle trainer said: “The lads (Coolmore owners) will decide what they want to do, obviously he’d have options of maybe going to York (Juddmonte International) or Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes).
“I’d say something like that, depending on what the lads want to do.”
Of Saudi Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic winner Mishriff, John Gosden said: “He was just a bit keen early, it was his first run for a while and the ground is soft enough for him. I expect him to come on a good deal for that.
“We will head to the Juddmonte at York next, but the winner was very impressive.”
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