IT was a great shame that So You Think was found lame in his box yesterday morning as it would have been fascinating to see him attempt to become the first back-to-back winner of the Coral-Eclipse since Halling in 1996.
I didn’t actually fancy him to win tomorrow as he had a hard race at Royal Ascot and I think FARHH would have pushed him very close indeed that day granted better luck in running. Frankie Dettori’s mount missed the kick in the Prince Of Wales’, and that has to be the concern again, but he looks a highly progressive animal and there should be enough juice in the ground for him to land his first Group One prize.
He was 4/1 before So You Think’s defection, which would have been an each-way bet to nothing, so we’re just going to have to make do with the 9/4 on offer with the sponsors. Nathaniel is next in the list, but I’m happy to oppose him at 3/1 given that it’s his seasonal debut and the ground probably won’t be soft enough. Cityscape commands plenty of respect and is the each-way bet in the race at around 6/1.
The Coral Charge (2.05pm) features the speedsters over Sandown’s flying five furlongs and last year’s winner Night Carnation will be tough to beat from her draw in stall four. She’s won two of her three starts over course and distance and bounced back to form with a decent sixth in the King’s Stand last time. However, she prefers to get her toe-in, and at this stage it’s difficult to know what the ground will be at the Esher track.
The one I’m most interested in is the much improved JUDGE ‘N JURY from trap three. Ron Harris’ eight-year-old has been in outstanding form this season and was hugely unlucky to get reeled in late at the Curragh on Saturday. He’s run well at Sandown before, goes on any ground and might just be able to burn them all off from the front, so snap up the 6/1 available with Coral.
Although Lady Rothschild may be disappointed if Nathaniel fails to win the day’s highlight, I’m pretty sure she’ll be celebrating after her TRADE COMMISIONER runs in the Coral Challenge (2.40pm). The son of Montjeu was hugely impressive at Salisbury last time and he has the perfect draw in stall one.
John Gosden’s yard continues in red hot form and expect this unexposed four-year-old to take this before trying to follow up in next month’s Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood. I’d be worried if it got very soft, but that looks unlikely and he is a decent bet at 9/4 with the sponsors from a good draw.
Conditions at Haydock are likely to be very testing and that will suit Donald McCain’s LEXI’S BOY down to the ground in the Old Newton Cup (3.25pm). The stable won last weekend’s Northumberland Plate with the hurdler Il De Re and they can bag another valuable pot with this fellow who looks very well-handicapped off 90.
You can follow me on Twitter @BillEsdaile for all my views.
JUDGE ‘N JURY e/w 2.05pm Sandown (tomorrow)
TRADE COMMISIONER 2.40pm Sandown (tomorrow)
LEXI’S BOY 3.25pm Haydock (tomorrow)
FARHH 3.45pm Sandown (tomorrow)