The Coral-Eclipse is the undoubted centrepiece at Sandown this Saturday. This Group 1 contest ran over 1m 2f has been won by some elite thoroughbred down through the years, with racing greats such as Sadler’s Wells, Giant’s Causeway and more recently Golden Horn.
This year’s race has a slightly open look to it, with Epsom Derby winner Masar is likely to start favourite but his form has a somewhat suspect look it however which I know is a strange thing to say about a Derby winner. However, from nine career starts Masar has only won four times and the placed horses in the Derby have slightly left the form down.
Charlie Appleby’s son of New Approach is justifiably favourite but at the likely skimpy odds, I’m willing to take him on.
John Gosden’s Roaring Lion was a hugely impressive winner of the Dante this season when he pulverised a smart field. This run was in the middle of creditable efforts in both the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby. The Eclipse trip looks ideal for the son of Kittens Joy and I expect him to fight out the finish.
Hawkbill represents the older generation as the highest rated non-three-year-old in the race. The Godolphin colt has been well below form on both his British starts this season and with the lively underfoot conditions not ideal, Charlie Appleby seems to have a stronger candidate for win purposes with Masar.
Saxon Warrior is the most intriguing horse in the race, the 2000 Guineas winner was been spoken about as a viable triple crown contender at the beginning of the season following victory in the Racing Post Trophy on his final start as a three-year-old.
The son of Deep Impact ran in both Derbys this month including a third-place finish at the Curragh behind Latrobe last weekend when looking a non-stayer. This drop back in trip should suit Saxon Warrior and if he shows no ill effects from his recent excursion he must pose a major danger to all.
Aidan has said he’ll wait until deciding if Saxon Warrior takes his place in the line-up:
“It’s possible that Saxon Warrior will run in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday. He ran a very big race in the Irish Derby less than a week ago, and while he’s come out of that very well we’re going to leave it until the last minute before making up our minds about whether he’ll run”.
Happily is my idea of the winner even though she has yet to get her head in front this season. However, all three starts this year have been In Group 1 contests and a staying on finish behind Laurens in the Prix De Diane suggests this trip is optimum.
She was a dual Group 1 winning two-year-old who’ll be receiving weight from all her rivals, couple this with Aidan O’Brien’s enviable track record with fillies and I think Happily can emerge victoriously.