Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior, third and fourth in the Derby, meet again in what promises to be the race of the season – to date – in the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in today’s feature.
In the last decade the classic generation have won just three of the last ten renewals of this great contest, but I expect a 3-y-old to win today – but which one? This is something of a retrieval mission for Saxon Warrior (10/3 with BetVictor) and from his good draw in stall two I wouldn’t be surprised if connections tried to make all on the colt. The race comes just six days after he had a hard race in the Irish Derby, however, and I just feel Roaring Lion (2.10) might be a topical winner given the World Cup quarter-final between England and Sweden starts about 45 minutes after the winner has crossed the line.
Roaring Lion is 7/2 with BetVictor and I hope Oisin Murphy can get his colt into a decent position from an unfavourable draw in stall seven. The selection travelled well at Epsom when he was, arguably, the last off the bridle. His previous fluent Dante win over today’s 10f trip suggests this is his optimum distance.
In the opener Judicial (4/1 at BetVictor) can get revenge on Muthmir for Haydock running earlier in the season when the selection was constantly denied a clear run. He has a decent draw in stall four this afternoon and must go close if getting the breaks.
In the valuable Mile Handicap Chiefofchiefs (1.00) can take advantage of a decent draw in stall three having been caught out of his ground when a fast-finishing fourth here on his latest start. The selection is 7/1 with BetVictor and can reward each way support.
I’m going to give De Medici (3.55) another chance stepping back up to 10f having found everything happening far too quickly back at a mile at Haydock last time. Archie Watson fits his three-year-old with first-time blinkers this afternoon and the form of his second to Beringer – giving that rival 6lbs – is excellent form when you think Beringer is now rated 20lbs higher than he was at Leicester when De Medici ran him to a couple of lengths.
At Haydock Ghostwatch (12.35) has been raised 8lbs for winning at Sandown last time and Charlie Appleby’s progressive stayer can follow up under Brett Doyle who was in the plate when the colt shed his maiden tag back in April. The selection is 11/4 with BetVictor and it might be significant that he holds an entry in next month’s Gt Voltigeur Stakes at York.
Flattering (1.10) made all to win the Group 3 Munster Stakes at Cork on her last start when making all and repelling all challengers. She looks to be improving and is taken to take advantage of the 12lbs weight-for-age she receives from her elders in the Lancashire Oaks. Michael Hussey does not get many opportunities on high-profile horses for Aidan O’Brien but he was in the saddle when the filly broke her maiden tag – also at Cork – and gets the vote at 7/2 with BetVictor.
I have mentioned earlier in the week that I am keen on the chances of Atty Persse (1.45) who is fitted with a tongue-tie for the first-time on his seasonal reappearance. Roger Charlton produced Withhold to win the Northumberland Plate coming back from a long break last weekend and I hope Jamie Spencer can steer the selection to victory. The 6/1 available earlier in the week has gone and he is now just 7/2 with BetVictor in this 17-runner handicap.
Tom Dascombe has his string in cracking form and his Teodoro (9/1 at BetVictor) might represent the biggest danger.
At Leicester, Jurz (4.10) drops back in trip having finished second on his handicap debut over an extended mile at Nottingham on his last start. David Egan takes over in the saddle today and this stiff 7f should suit.
At Market Rasen on Sunday the teenager Creevytenant (4.20) will appreciate returning to a right-hand track and good ground having been pulled up at Stratford last time on ground much softer than the official description. The 14-year-old goes well for Lilly Pinchin and has been dropped a couple of pounds since his last start.