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de Sousa to ride Eminent in Eclipse

Silvestre de Sousa will ride Eminent for prominent New Zealand racing identity Sir Peter Vela in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

Reigning champion jockey Jim Crowley has ridden the Frankel colt at each of his four starts to date, but with uncertainty about his commitments to Sheikh Hamden, connections have decided to replace him with de Sousa for Saturday’s Group One race.

“We don’t know for sure whether Jim would be available as obviously he is committed to riding for Sheikh Hamdan and we wanted to have some certainty,” trainer Martyn Meade said:.

“I discussed it with the owner and we decided that a change might be the way to go.

“Hopefully Silvestre will come and have a sit on the horse this week. That would be the plan.

“All the work is done, so he doesn’t need to do any work on him, but hopefully he’ll have a sit on him.”

Sir Peter, the boss of NZ Bloodstock and Pencarrow Stud, paid 150,000 guineas ($A275,000) for the colt who finished sixth in the 2000 Guineas and fourth in the Epsom Derby at his two most recent appearances.

Eminent is one of 16 horses confirmed for the Eclipse, with Barney Roy and Cliffs Of Moher the only two ahead of him in the betting.

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