The fantastic mare Enable is the star of the show at Sandown this afternoon as John Gosden’s dual Arc winner makes her belated seasonal reappearance in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes. This looks an ideal starting point for the 5-year-old but Longchamp on the first Sunday in October is the main objective and a record-breaking hat-trick of Arc wins.
The mare has only been beaten once in her 11-race career, but that was over today’s intermediate trip of 10f, she is drawn on the wing in stall eight and at 4/5 with BetVictor I will look for an each way alternative.
The last two colts to win the Dante Stakes at York who have run in the Eclipse (Golden Horn in 2015 & Roaring Lion last year) have won although both were top-notch animals. Golden Horn had won the Derby in his previous start and landed the Arc at the end of the season while Roaring Lion, who was my horse of the year in 2018, looked to be beaten by the step up in trip at Epsom having travelled like the best horse in the classic. The same cannot be said about this year’s winner Telecaster (3.35) but he still gets the each way vote at 12/1 with BetVictor.
The selection failed to fire at Epsom having been supplemented for the race at a cost of £85,000. It is possible that he will bomb out again, but his Dante win looks very strong form and it is possible that the Derby came just soon after York. Trainer Hughie Morrison reports his 3-year-old to be working well, he receives 7lbs from Enable and he gets the each way vote.
In the opening 5f dash I am hoping that the veteran Muthmir (1.50) can wind back the clock and go one better than when runner up in the corresponding race 12 months ago when a fast-finishing second to Judicial. The selection is another each way recommendation at 6/1 with BetVictor and made a satisfactory reappearance when fifth in the Epsom Dash on Derby Day.
Eight of the 10 runners represent the classic generation and they are led by Garrus (7/2 with BetVictor) who has his first start for Charlie Hills having won both starts so far this season for the recently retired Jeremy Noseda – me thinks we have not seen or heard the last of Noseda.
Cleonte did us a favour when landing the final race of Royal Ascot a fortnight ago and has a leading chance of following up despite the 6f drop in trip this afternoon. The vote, however, goes to the lightly-raced Falcon Eight (4.45) who is a rare British runner for Dermot Weld and steps back up in trip to 2m having finished a never nearer second in a listed 1m 6f contest at Leopardstown back in May. Frankie Dettori takes over in the saddle and the 4-y-old is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time.
Mark Johnston saddles four of the seven runners in the Haydock opener over 1m 6f for three-year olds and all four hold a realistic chance of taking this valuable prize. The vote, however, goes to Roger Varian’s Prefontaine (2.05) who ran well over an inadequate trip when third in a good contest at Chester last time – albeit on soft ground. The each way selection (7/1 with BetVictor) is blinkered for the first time this afternoon and the hope is that the headgear can bring about the necessary improvement to thwart the Johnston quartet.
In the Lancashire Oaks I hope to see Klassique (2.40) follow up her recent C&D success in the Pinnacle Stakes. Her detractors will tell you that win was gained on heavy ground, but she had travelled like the best horse when second at Goodwood on her reappearance to Enbihaar who reopposes today. The selection is 7/2 with BetVictor in a market that is headed by the selection’s stablemate Dramatic Queen (5/2 with BetVictor) but I feel Klassique will have too much pace today with Danny Tudhope in the saddle.
I was keen on the chances of Infrastructure in the Old Newton Cup but, at the time of writing, it looks as if he will not face the starter as he was first reserve for the race. Al Muffrih did us a favour in the Zetland Gold Cup and this has long been the plan, but he has the worst of the draw and is reluctantly overlooked.
The each way vote goes to Bombyx (3.15) who is visored for the first time, having pulled his chance away at Leicester last time. He has a decent stall in five and if there is a strong gallop to chase it will help him settle. The selection is 16/1 at BetVictor who are betting five places on the race. First Eleven is the 7/2 market leader with BetVictor and Gosden’s 4-y-old will have to be a Group horse to defy 9st 10lbs and stall 17.
At Market Rasen on Sunday I feel Oksana (3.15) can make a winning chase debut for connections. The mare has the scope to jump a fence and ran a very good race when second over timber here on her latest start.
Mister Universum (4.50) ran a very good race when second over 2m 4f at Southwell last time and I feel he can go one better for the Skeltons in the valuable handicap hurdle. A market move for Amy Murphy’s Really Super would be worth noting given the mare ran an excellent race back on the level at Nottingham following a break.