Mark Johnston’s charge found only Godolphin’s Masar too strong in the premier Classic and his trainer, Charlie Appleby, confirmed on Wednesday morning that his Epsom hero is going to sidestep the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and instead aim for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 7.
His anticipated defection means the door is open for Dee Ex Bee, who carries the colours of Godolphin supremo Sheikh Mohammed’s son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, to try to go one better in Ireland.
Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: “Jono Mills (Godolphin bloodstock manager) has been up to the yard this morning and I think if Masar is going to the Eclipse, that would make Ireland a strong favourite for Dee Ex Bee.
“He is in great order and we could even have gone to Royal Ascot as he come out that race (Derby) that well.
“The Irish Derby and the Grand Prix De Paris were the two options on the table and if Masar is skipping Ireland, it makes us more likely to go there.”