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Stone Age sidesteps Coral-Eclipse

Stone Age will sidestep Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in favour of a trip to America the following weekend.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Galileo colt was hugely impressive in winning a Navan maiden and the Derby Trial at Leopardstown on his first two starts of the season but could finish only sixth in the Derby at Epsom.

O’Brien decided against running in last Saturday’s Irish Derby at the Curragh, instead favouring a return to a mile and a quarter in the Eclipse.

However, the Ballydoyle handler has now decided to prepare for a trans-Atlantic trip for the Belmont Derby, where he is likely to clash with Charlie Appleby’s Breeders’ Cup and French 2,000 Guineas winner Modern Games, who is set to be ridden by Frankie Dettori.

O’Brien, who won last year’s Belmont race with Bolshoi Ballet, said: “Stone Age will go to Belmont the following weekend instead.

“It will give him another week and obviously it’s against three-year-olds only. We can step up again after that, depending on how that goes.”

O’Brien, who won his sixth Eclipse with St Mark’s Basilica 12 months ago, will not be represented in this year’s renewal.

He also left Coronation Cup third High Definition and Group Three winner Aikhal in the Eclipse at Monday’s confirmation stage, but that pair too have alternative targets.

“High Definition is going to go to the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud the following day and Aikhal is going to go to the Grand Prix de Paris the following week (July 14),” the trainer added.

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