AFTER the thrill of the Investec Derby and Oaks on Epsom Downs on Saturday, the action comes thick and fast for racing fans with more Group One action at Sandown on Sunday.
John Gosden’s wonder mare Enable returns to defend her Coral Eclipse (3.35pm Sandown) crown and its great to see her back as a six-year-old.
She got somewhat stuck in the mud behind Waldgeist when only just failing to land a record third consecutive Arc de Triomphe when we last saw her in action and all roads are likely to lead to Paris again.
Aidan O’Brien’s Magical got pretty close to Enable in this 12 months ago and this year’s renewal feels a lot hotter.
There is no getting away from the fact that she is one of the finest racehorses of my lifetime, but I’m not sure she will be fully tuned up
to for this assignment and I’m prepared to take her on at the prices.
Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath looks the obvious contender on the back of an impressive victory in last month’s Group One Coronation Cup.
That followed a demolition job over this trip out in Dubai in February and he looks to be finally living up to the hype that surrounded him going into last year’s Arc.
However, he is just 9/4 to land the spoils here and that also feels a tiny bit skinny.
Instead, I’m prepared to take a chance on Aidan O’Brien’s JAPAN to bounce back from his Royal Ascot disappointment at a generous looking 9/2.
The market told you he was going to need the run that day and he is likely to strip far fitter here.
He won a good renewal of the Juddmonte International over this trip at York last year and he looks the value alternative to the big guns.
Looking at the others and Japanese raider Deirdre looks up against it in this grade, while Regal Reality goes well at Sandown but has a lot to find.
Elsewhere on the Sandown card and John Quinn, who had a nice success with Safe Voyage at Epsom on Derby Day, will be hoping to land the Coral Charge (1.50pm) with LIBERTY BEACH.
She ran a hell of a race to finish third behind Battaash in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and will find things easier down in calmer waters.
She won really impressively at this track last summer and looks well worth an interest at 10/3 with most firms.
The obvious danger on paper looks fellow three-year-old Lazuli who won well at the track last time.
Finally, the first two home in last month’s Royal Hunt Cup lock horns again in the Coral Challenge (3.00pm).
Dark Vision came out on top that day but may struggle to confirm the form with Montatham on these 3lbs revised terms.
Both look likely to be on the premises again but there may just be a little value in looking further down the list.
Hugo Palmer’s Acquitted looks a big price at 12/1 considering he gave eventual St James’ Palace Stakes winner Palace Pier a fright at Newcastle two starts back.
He was all at sea over 10 furlongs at Ascot last time and the drop in trip will help see him in a better light.
That said, I’m going to leave him and side with Andrew Balding’s ZWAYAAN at 14/1 with a few firms.
He’s been given a little slack by the handicapper and goes well both fresh and at this track.
There is every chance he could drift even further, so keep an eye out on the Tote (www.tote.co.uk) too
as where he could return be a huge price.
Liberty Beach 10/3 1.50pm Sandown
Zwayaan e/w 14/1 3.00pm Sandown
Japan 9/2 3.35pm Sandown