This year’s Coral-Eclipse, always one of the highlights of the summer calendar, is a tremendously exciting renewal as it gives us the return of Enable, the dual Arc heroine and Breeders’ Cup winner who makes her first start of the season. She is a worthy favourite at 10/11, but if there is ever going to be a better chance to beat her it will be today, on fast ground dropping back to 10 furlongs, even if we are at a stiff track like Sandown.
Magical was just behind Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at the end of last season and has since won three easy races before running a grand race in defeat at Royal Ascot, when she was outstayed by Crystal Ocean in what became a soft ground slog which suited his stamina more. Today could end up being a speedier test, and Magical, who has the fitness advantage over the Arc winner, will probably never have a better chance of overturning her.
Those who fancy Enable are encouraged to back her ante-post to defend her Arc title, as a win here would surely see her shorten up as favourite for that event.
There appears to be value in this race and perhaps it is worth also backing Regal Reality, who was an impressive winner of the Brigadier Gerard here. He really improved from his seasonal debut to win that contest so impressively and it’s possible he’s a far stronger horse than the one who was well behind Mustashry, the Lockinge winner who disappointed at Royal Ascot, last season. Zabeel Prince took a maiden Group 1 in the Prix D’Ispahan before he didn’t cut much ice in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
Dancteria and Hunting Horn look outclassed on all form which leaves Telecaster, who didn’t run his race in the Derby, as the other one on the list, but he might be best watched despite a tempting price.
Saturday 6th July, Sandown Park
Live on ITV1 HD, and Racing TV HD, from 1:30
Earlier on the card in the Coral Charge, Garrus can continue his progression. Stall nine is a worry for him but his closest opposition is also drawn well away from him and the form of his York Listed win has been boosted tenfold by Shades of Blue winning a Listed race, whilst Soldier’s Call was third in the King’s Stand.
The trickiest betting challenge of the day is the aptly named Coral Challenge, so two are taken against the field. The first is Via Serendipity, who was third in this very race in 2018 and who bounced right back to form when beating the useful Masham Star by five lengths, and the handicapper’s choice to put him up just 2lbs for that may be very generous indeed. At 13/2, he has enough back class to chance here and looks well treated.
The second is Escobar, who doesn’t have such strong recent form (unplaced in three this year) but who is well handicapped based on his best form of last season, which includes a second in this last year. He’s just 4lbs higher than that.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Garrus 3 pts win at 10/3 in 1.50 Sandown at 10/3 with starsports.bet
BACK Via Serendipity 1 pt each/way in 2.25 Sandown at 6/1 with starsports.bet
BACK Escobar 1 pt each/way in 2.25 Sandown at 10/1 with starsports.bet
BACK Magical 2 pt win in 3.35 Sandown at 5/2 with starsports.bet
BACK Regal Reality 1 pt each/way 3.35 Sandown at 13/2 with starsports.bet
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