Tabor relishing Eclipse challenge with Paddington

Part-owner Michael Tabor is anticipating a “fascinating duel” should Paddington take on Emily Upjohn in Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

The three-year-old would be stepping up to 10 furlongs for the first time in Esher following his Irish 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes wins, while the year older Emily Upjohn will be dropping back from a mile and a half after landing the Coronation Cup at Epsom last month.

Paddington, who has won five of his six starts for trainer Aidan O’Brien, would be getting 7lb from Emily Upjohn, and Tabor thinks that could prove crucial.

He said: “I think we have Paddington in the Eclipse at the weekend.

“He is up against a very, very good mare, Emily Upjohn. It will be a fascinating duel. What can you say? We are getting 7lb weight for age, I suppose.

“It makes a difference, but don’t forget we are only a three-year-old and Emily is a four-year-old.

“She should be that much stronger, so it is all compensation, but we have to respect her.”

Tabor owns Paddington in partnership with John Magnier, Derrick Smith, Westerberg and Peter Brant, with all but the latter also involved in Luxembourg, who is also entered in the Eclipse.

Winner of the Tattersalls Gold Cup before having to settle for second in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, he is a best-priced 20-1 for the Sandown contest, although Tabor is unsure on his running plans.

He added: “I haven’t even asked Aidan if Luxembourg is running, or with Derrick or John, because we have been focussing on Paddington running, because he’s our number one.

“Luxembourg is a good horse. He will have his day in the sun soon. We always discuss it with Aidan – he would never say I’m running him in this race or whatever.”

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