HORSE RACING

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Sat: Coral-Eclipse 2022

Over the years fans have been treated to some exceptional renewal s of the Coral-Eclipse (3.35, Sandown) and this year’s contest is an absolutely fascinating contest, featuring five Group 1 winners in a field of six – and the odd one out in that regard has already run to a high enough rating to earn top level victory.

Coral-Eclipse 2022
Sandown, Esher
Live on ITV1 HD from 13:30-18:00, also ITV Hub
Live on Racing TV from 11am with Mark Your Card

First Race: 1.50pm
Last Race: 5.20pm

The race was given an extra shot in the arm when Vadeni, running out a deeply impressive winner of the Prix du Jockey Club and announcing himself on the European stage in style. His five-length victory there (with previous Group 1 winners El Bodgeon and Modern Games in second and third) was a superb effort and if repeated, will give him a major chance here – but he feels short at 7/4.

There’s no doubt that Vadeni benefitted in particular from a strong gallop at Chantilly, something which he’d lacked when beaten twice in Group 3’s before connections opted to enter a pacemaker before his impressive win in the Prix de Guiche, and he now goes from the hustle and bustle of the Jockey Club to a six-runner race without a confirmed front-runner. Whilst he is not short of speed – and Sandown’s long straight will suit – this is likely to present a very difficult test for him against the best opposition he’s faced so far.

A slow gallop over 10 furlongs around Sandown shouldn’t hamper Native Trail, whose only career defeat came in the 2,000 Guineas – the form of which has been well represented since. He was underwhelming – based on the pre-race prices – in what looked to be a weak Irish 2,000 Guineas. It’s possible that he was looking to go further there – and a return to his Guineas form would make him a major player – but his elders make slightly more appeal at this stage.

Bay Bridge looked like a sure-fire Group 1 winner in waiting when he was a deeply impressive winner of the Brigadier Gerard Stakes here (on good ground), smashing the 118 rated Mostahdaf by five lengths. He was sent off 10/11 for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and came away with plenty of credit, finding only multiple Group 1 winner State of Rest too good off a steady tempo which was dictated by Shane Crosse.

A similar outcome is a worry here – there are only six horses here – but Ryan Moore can surely be a bit more forceful if needs be and it’s worth remembering that he had two high class Group 1 performers behind there and shaped as if he was still improving AT royal Ascot, which would not be a surprise given his connections.

To give so much weight to his younger counterparts will be a big task, but he remains of strong interest here and it’s arguable that he should be slightly shorter.

The same comments apply to Alenquer, who was no match for Mishriff (also runs here) in the Juddmonte last year but who’s possibly improved since based on his relatively unlucky sixth in the Sheema Classic at Meydan and his extremely game success in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, when he was well placed under Tom Marquand before showing plenty of guts to win a three-way finish.

State of Rest (third, arguably unlucky) was third and has since won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, whilst fifth Broome had landed the Hardwicke – so the form is rock solid – and his stamina for further and ability to front run could be real assets here. 7/1 looks big about his chances.

Mishriff is the highest rated horse in the field, and if he’s at his best (Prix du Jockey Club winner, Saudi Cup, Sheema Classic, Juddmonte International winner) – but the key question is if he’ll be at that level. He was third of four in this 12 months ago after winning the Sheema Classic, and this year he looked amiss in the Saudi Cup last time.

Lord North lost all chance in the Prince of Wales’s after a stuck blindfold was removed late, so that should be forgiven, but he’s been beaten by Alenquer twice fair and square since.

Elsewhere on the card, a chance is taken on Checkandchallenge in the Coral Challenge (2.25).

William Knight’s three-year-old looked a potential Group horse when he won the Burradon Stakes at Newcastle in impressive style, beating Dubai Poet (since fourth in Dee Stakes, third in Jersey at Royal Ascot) and Imperial Fighter (third in Irish Guineas) with a good deal of ease. He was a disappointment in the 2,000 Guineas but that can be easily forgiven and he’s worth another shot here.

RECOMMENDED BETS – Race Winner
BACK Checkandchallenge 1pt win in 2.25 Sandown at 4/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Bay Bridge 1pt win in 3.35 Sandown at 7/2 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Alenquer 1pt win in 3.35 Sandown at 7/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


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