It is Coral Eclipse Day at Sandown and this year’s renewal looks a real belter with a trio of top class three year olds set to clash.
Two of the three – EMINENT and Cliffs of Moher – ran with huge credit in the Derby, whilst Barney Roy followed up his second in the Guineas with victory at Royal Ascot. The Derby duo are stepping back in trip, whilst the Godolphin colt goes beyond a mile for the first time and the key for punters is to work out who will be most suited by the change.
We think Eminent is the one, as he still looked green at Epsom and he can use the pace he showed earlier in the season to good effect here is the closing stages.
Coolmore pacemaker, Taj Mahal, will certainly ensure a strong gallop and that could stretch Barney Roy just beyond breaking point.
Of the older horses, we wouldn’t give up on ULYSSES just yet. We fancied him to win at Royal Ascot last month and he travelled like the best horse for most of the closing stages only to get out battled at the death. A more patient ride here could see him in the shake up again.
At a monster price, don’t rule out a strong showing for Salouen for the in-form Sylvester Kirk.
|Eminent (ew)||3.35 Sandown||11/2||Bet365|
|Ulysses (ew)||3.35 Sandown||9/1||Bet365|
The card’s other big race is the Coral Challenge over a mile at 2.25pm and we like another Sir Michael Stoute runner here, EL HAYEM. He was unsuited by soft ground last time out, but prior to that had looked ready to tackle this trip. Having Ryan Moore on board is always a plus too.
There are plenty of dangers, none more so than the in-form favourite, Greenside, but the other one to back near the head of the market is GEORGE WILLIAM. He did really well to finish second in a competitive handicap at Ascot two starts back, before having no chance at the Royal meeting there last time out. He was drawn on the wrong side of the track that day, although he did beat his other rivals on that side. This trip looks ideal for him.
Of those at bigger prices, the most interesting is MANSON, a course and distance winner who loves this fast ground.
|El Haysem (win)||2.25 Sandown||17/2||Unibet|
|George William (ew)||2.25 Sandown||13/2||Bet365|
|Manson (ew)||2.25 Sandown||16/1||Bet365|
The other horse to back at the Esher track is MAYZOUN in the opener. We tipped him last time he ran and he was doing all of his best work at the death in that York handicap. He can really make his presence felt here if ridden closer to the pace.
|Mayzoun (ew)||1.20 Sandown||5/1||Betfair, Paddy Power|
bet365 Old Newton Cup Handicap
Haydock’s big race is the Old Newton Cup, where our man Ian Williams looks to have another good chance in a big Saturday handicap courtesy of KAPSTAT. This horse is in the form of his life at present and looks sure to be suited by this stiffer stamina test.
The same is true of BROROCCO, who represents another trainer who is having a fine season – Andrew Balding.
The best of the outsiders could prove to be BLAKENEY POINT. He can be a bit inconsistent, but when he’s good he can be really good and, having run well over further in the past, he could make this a real stamina test for his rivals and outstay many of them in the closing stages.
Sky Bet are offering 5 places for each-way bets on this race (4 places elsewhere).
|Kapstat (ew)||3.15 Haydock||12/1||Sky Bet|
|Brorocco (ew)||3.15 Haydock||7/1||Bet365|
|Blakeney Point (ew)||3.15 Haydock||22/1||Bet365|