Full guide to the entries left in the Coral-Eclipse
28 Jun 2016
The Gurkha and My Dream Boat head the cast for Sandown feature
The Gurkha heads the ante-post betting for the Coral-Eclipse. Picture: Racingfotos.com
The Coral-Eclipse Stakes, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, takes place at Sandown on Saturday. Here’s a guide to the 11 entries left in the race after Monday’s confirmation stage.
THE GURKHA (General odds: 6-4)
Unraced as a two-year-old but quickly making up for lost time, coming from further back than ideal and meeting some trouble in closing stages when splitting Galileo Gold and Awtaad in the St James’s Palace Stakes on his latest start. Had previously won the French 2,000 Guineas in runaway style. The Galileo colt promises to be as effective, if not better, over this longer trip and, at home on a soft surface, looks a leading contender.
MY DREAM BOAT (3-1)
Progressive profile and put up a personal best to edge out Found in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, having won the Group Three Gordon Richards Stakes over course and distance in April. In between, he was no match for A Shin Hikari at Chantilly. Seems well served by the combination of a mile and a quarter/soft ground and another bold bid is on cards.
TIME TEST (4-1)
Looked Group One material when an impressive winner of the Group Three Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer and off to fine start this term when repelling Western Hymn (rec 4lb) on his return over course and distance in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes last month. Has seemed well served by fast ground (has missed two Group One races this term because of softish going) and connections no doubt hoping rain will stay away.
A £30,000 supplementary entry on Monday. Steady improver who made it five wins on the spin with a game effort in the Group Three Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. Clearly at home on softish surface and, while this asks more, his excellent attitude and straightforward nature seems certain to stand him in good stead.
WESTERN HYMN (10-1)
Good record at Sandown – form here reads 111322 – and seeks to try and improve on his distant third to Golden Horn in last year’s running. Something to find on form, though, because he finished almost four lengths adrift of My Dream Boat at Royal Ascot last time, having suffered earlier defeats here at the hand of that horse and Time Test.
Smart two-year-old who showed he had trained on when touched off by Wings Of Desire in the Dante Stakes on his return at York. Seemed to find the longer trip stretching his stamina in the Derby next time and drop to this distance makes sense, but trainer has expressed concerns about soft ground being suitable (below-par when tried in Group One company on a slow surface in past).
Won a handicap over the Eclipse course and distance off a mark of 98 last summer and confirmed he was still on the up when brushing aside Simple Verse in the Group Two Jockey Club Cup over 1m4f at Newmarket in April. Ran a stinker in the Hardwicke Stakes latest, though, and disconcerting his trainer put that effort down to the ground being too soft with similar conditions on the cards.
LONG ISLAND SOUND (25-1)
Unraced as a juvenile. Winner of three minor contest in Ireland this spring before having sights raised and contesting Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot. Came up short there – four lengths third to Hawkbill – and even, with more improvement likely, difficult to see him turning the tables, let alone be good enough.
Form falls short of standard required, for all that he probably has some unfinished business over this trip or even farther. Spurned what looked a good opportunity when odds-on for minor event at Gowran Park latest and others clearly stronger.
COUGAR MOUNTAIN (40-1)
Limitations exposed at the highest level and not been firing on all cylinders this season, including when disappointing in a Listed contest at the Curragh at the weekend.
In the field as a pacemaker for Time Test. Has been employed in that role in the past and the 79-rated handicapper should give the principals a decent tow until at least halfway.