Hawkbill 7/1 to give Godolphin a fifth Coral-Eclipse winner
David Metcalf | June 27, 2016
Hawkbill handed Coral-Eclipse mission as 11 remain in Sandown showpiece
Hawkbill is 7/1 with the sponsors after being supplemented for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, as 11 stood their ground following the latest declaration stage for the 1m 2f Group 1 contest on Saturday, July 2nd.
The Charlie Appleby trained three-year-old is a rapidly improving sort who has won his last five starts.
In the most recent of those, Hawkbill only had to be driven out to land the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot by 1 3/4 lengths.
“Deserves to take his chance”
Connections feel the son of Kitten’s Joy is now ready for a crack at the highest level, and Hawkbill has proven winning form on soft ground which is forecast at the Esher venue.
John Ferguson, Godolphin’s chief executive and racing manager, said: “Charlie is very happy with how Hawkbill has been training since Ascot. He is taking a step up, but we feel he deserves to take his chance.”
Godolphin have won the Coral-Eclipse on four previous occasions, with Refuse To Bend being their last winner in 2004.
The Gurkha spearheads Ballydoyle challenge
Leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is bidding for a sixth success in the contest, and The Gurkha spearheads his challenge for this year’s renewal.
The colt looked a superstar when romping to a wide-margin victory in the French 2,000 Guineas and didn’t get the clearest of runs when chasing home Galileo Gold in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot when last seen in action.
Three-year-old The Gurkha revels in testing conditions and, having been initially 10/3 with Coral, has been heavily backed into 6/4 favourite for the Eclipse.
O’Brien also has Bravery (33/1), Cougar Mountain (33/1), Dante runner-up Deauville (12/1), and Long Island Road (25/1) left in the race.
Conditions ideal for My Dream Boat
My Dream Boat is another mud-lover and 3/1 second-favourite for the Coral-Eclipse with the sponsors.
The Clive Cox trained colt has won two of his three starts this season, with the last of those coming in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
My Dream Boat showed a tremendous attitude to dig deep and beat Found by a neck, with the pair pulling 3 1/2 lengths clear of the field to give the form a strong look.
Although sent off 16/1 that day there was no fluke about the victory and the forecast underfoot conditions holding no fears the four-year-old looks a massive player.
Time Test won’t want it too testing
The Roger Charlton trained four-year-old showed a smart turn of foot to beat Western Hymn by a neck in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes having looked in need of the run beforehand.
Time Test is entitled to come on a bundle for that outing, but all his best form has been on quick ground and he is highly unlikely to get his ideal conditions with the going currently reported as soft with heavy patches.
Also among today’s declarations were Countermeasure (100/1), who was supplemented to be a pacemaker for stable companion Time Test, Exosphere (20/1) and Sandown regular Western Hymn (12/1) who finished third in the race 12 months ago.