Archipenko, Mike de Kock's great hope in Coral Eclipse on Saturday has been ruled out of a confrontation with double Classic winner, Sea the Stars, after suffering a swollen fetlock. Last year's Group One Audemars Piguet QE II Cup winner was to start in a field of 10 for the Sandown showpiece. "Nobody knows exactly what happened to him but he has a swollen fetlock and there's just absolutely no chance he can run," said de Kock yesterday from South Africa, where he is preparing three runners for his native country's biggest race, the Durban July on Saturday.
"It's very disappointing because he was flying at the moment in England and we were very pleased with him - we just have to wait and see before we can do anything with him now. That's racing Anyway, sheunfortunately." The five-year-old son of Kingmambo enjoyed a scintillating 2008 under South African jockey, Kevin Shea, with victories coming in the Group Two Plymouth Gin Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot before crossing the pond to finish a close second to Spirit One in the Group One Arlington Million in the US. He was sixth in the 2009 Group One Dubai Duty Free.
The Coral Eclipse, the first race of the season in which older horses can take on runners of a Classic age, nevertheless boasts a stellar line-up. The three-year-old Sea the Stars, trained by John Oxx and winner of the 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby, is lining up with Aidan O'Brien's Rip van Winkle, who finished fourth in Epsom Derby but is looking to turn that form upside down. O'Brien won the race last year with his horse Mount Nelson who was ridden by Johnny Murtagh.
The four-year-old Conduit, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, winner of the 2008 St Leger Stakes and Breeders Cup Turf Mile, will be looking to maintain his excellent three-year-old form, while Henry Cecil's Twice Over, Cima de Triomphe from Cumani's yard and the Mark Johnston-trained Jukebox Jury also get the start. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has purchased fleet-footed US filly Jealous Again.
The runaway winner of the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot spearheaded a dominant American sprint showing and impressed with her four lengths-clear victory. She was trained in the US by Wesley Ward but it is unclear at this stage whether she will run in the light blue colours of Godolphin. John Ferguson, bloodstock agent to Sheikh Mohammed, however said the two-year-old would be returning to Europe.
"We are in the process of sorting things out," he said. @Email:email@example.com