The Coral-Eclipse Stakes is the feature race at Sandown this weekend and the hope is that the 10f Group 1 event for three-year-olds and upwards will see the return of Enable who is the 11/10 favourite at BetVictor. There was no Crystal Ocean in the entries at Monday’s six-day stage but Dante winner Telecaster (12/1 with BetVictor) returns to the distance of his York success and he and St James’s Palace Stakes winner Circus Maximus (4/1 at BetVictor) are the only three-year-olds in the 13-entries at the five-day stage.
There is a decent jumps card at Stratford this evening and it will be interesting to see what the market says about the prospects of Surrey Blaze who has his first start for Dan Skelton. The 4-y-old has had his wind tweaked and is fitted with a tongue tie for the first time by Skelton and he was rated 75 on the level for Joe Tuite.
The vote, however, goes to Purple King (6.15) who improved on his first start for the yard when runner up at Southwell for Dr Richard Newland who saddled a double at Uttoxeter on Sunday.
The Novice Chase over an extended 2m 5f is a belter and Kings Ryde will have his supporters on his chase debut for Nicky Henderson who fits his 7-year-old with a hood for the first time. The vote, however, goes to Harry Fry’s Serosevsky (6.45) a winning pointer who is also having his first start over the larger obstacles.
The selection has pulled up in two of his last three starts, but he did win on his penultimate start and he has the scope to jump the larger obstacles. Fidux did us a favour on his chase debut but he carries a 6lbs penalty today and his stablemate Potterman failed to build on his chase debut success last week.
All seven runners can be given a realistic chance in the 2m handicap Chase, but I hope to see I’dliketheoption (7.15) reverse recent Fontwell form on 5lbs better terms including Jonjo O’Neill’s 3lb claim. The form of Dandridge’s third last time has been franked in the interim period and this 10-year-old is suggested as the main danger in an ultra-competitive heat.
Winning pointer Starlight Court finished second over the minimum trip on his first start for Matt Shepherd and this step up to 2m 5f should suit. Preference, however, is for the recent Bangor winner Damut I’m Out (7.45) who looked well ahead of the handicapper last time and is taken to defy a 9lbs higher mark.
At Chepstow I hope to see Huboor (7.30) confirm the promise of his third at Yarmouth on debut for Mark Johnston. The winner – Summer Romance – looked very smart when scoring in listed company at Newmarket on Saturday and the third landed the odds at Brighton. Jim Crowley takes over in the saddle.
So Near So Farhh (8.00) disappointed on soft ground, which should have suited, at Lingfield last time but she can race off the same mark this evening as when second at Pontefract on fast ground earlier in the season. Franny Norton won on his sole previous ride on the filly and he is back in the plate this evening.
Admiral’s Bay (8.30) failed to cope with the soft ground at Newbury last time but this big strapping gelding is taken to return to winning ways having scored on fast ground at Yarmouth on his penultimate start. William Haggas’ wouldn’t have many horses in his yard rated as low as 64 but that is what his handicap debutante Narina runs from this evening. A check of the market is advised.