Sandown preview: Coral-Eclipse (15.45)
The feature race on a superb day’s action at Sandown is the Coral-Eclipse (15.45), and Investec Derby winner Golden Horn looks a worthy odds-on favourite to land the 1m 2f Group 1 contest.
Trained by John Gosden, the colt is unbeaten in four starts and could not have been more impressive in the last of those when trouncing Jack Hobbs in the Epsom classic.
After racing keen and being held-up in the early stages, Golden Horn made smooth headway two from home under confident Frankie Dettori and after taking up the running a furlong from home sprinted clear to win going away by 3 1/2 lengths.
It was a performance which oozed class, and the front two pulled 4 1/2 lengths clear of the third to give the form a solid look.
Jack Hobbs has also since come out and won the Irish Derby in facile fashion by five lengths, and that suggests that this year’s renewal of the English version was a strong one.
Golden Horn will also arguably be suited by the drop back in trip in this and, with Dettori once again in the saddle, can become the first classic winner since Sea The Stars in 2009 to land the famous race.
The obvious danger, in what looks a two-horse race on paper, is The Grey Gatsby.
Trained in the north by Kevin Ryan, the son of Mastercraftsman enjoyed a terrific 2014 when landing Group 1 successes in the French Derby and Irish Champion Stakes.
The four-year-old showed a tremendous attitude in the latter to beat Epsom and Irish Derby winner Australia by a neck, and that is top class form.
Although not at his best on his first two starts this season, The Grey Gatsby bounced right back to his best last time out when fitted with cheekpieces for the first time and finishing an unlucky in-running second to Free Eagle in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Grey Gatsby had nowhere to go when travelling well on the heels of the leaders a furlong from home, and jockey Jamie Spencer had to sit and suffer and wait for a gap to open.
When one eventually did, The Grey Gatsby gamely squeezed through and finished with a real rattle to go down by just a short-head.
Granted a clear passage The Grey Gatsby would have prevailed, and there is little doubt that he has the ability give Golden Horn plenty to think about.
Coral betting tip: Punters have backed Golden Horn into his short-price, but there are plenty of reasons for it, and he looks a banker in the Eclipse. New customers get enhanced odds of 5/1 up until the 15:45 race time, however.