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Lion to come home in the Eclipse

5 Jul 2018

The country has had plenty to celebrate this week with the Three Lions winning their penalty shootout with Colombia and Saturday could see more jubilant scenes should England make a World Cup semi-final. I’m hoping another Lion, Roaring Lion, though, will overcome his own test in the Coral-Eclipse.

It’s certainly no penalty kick for my boy with a quality field of eight including the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby winners Saxon Warrior and Masar. The form with those three ties in with each other, but I am hopefully of turning the tables with a trip that promises to suit Roaring Lion.

With the scorching weather we’ve had not many horses have had much preparation on the turf recently, however Roaring Lion was taken to the July Course for a gallop last weekend. Kieran O’Neill rode him and was very happy with him. They’ve been ticking him over since the Derby and hopefully he’ll be perfect for Saturday.

As I’ve said there’s plenty of form tying the top three in the market. We’re obviously hopeful that we can reverse some of that, and this is a new track and a new challenge with three very good colts heading the market.

I’ve certainly got every chance on Saturday, with the ground and trip posing no problems. He was mighty impressive over a mile and a quarter when winning the Dante at York two outings ago so this looks to be his optimum trip. The weather looks to have really firmed up the ground across the country, and this won’t be an excuse for my chances. He’s bred to enjoy that type of ground with his American pedigree, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

For me it’s no surprise to see Saxon Warrior left in the race after final declarations this morning. Aidan O’Brien said they’d bring him back down in trip to 10 furlongs, and clearly he has come out of the Irish Derby well. It will be interesting to see how he goes against Masar who he beat at a mile, but was soundly beaten over a longer distance in the Investec Derby.

In the Marathon I ride Series winner Montaly who has been a little bit out of form this year. He’s run twice in 2018 back in May when Andrew Balding’s horses were a touch out of form. His horses are really starting to fly now, and realistically Montaly does have the form to win this. Hopefully he can get his year going on Saturday and get back to his best.

South Seas is my horse in the Coral Challenge. I was disappointed with the draw for him, but the horse is in good form and the best we’ve had him in all year. It could just be a touch fast for him out there.

Di Fede was disappointing at Ascot, especially having won the time before at Leicester which was a good win. She certainly would have a chance on the ratings.

Archie Watson looks to have found the right race for De Medici in the closing handicap at Sandown on Saturday. He’s also nicely drawn in the middle which will aid his cause. I’m sure he’ll be bang there at the finish.

Horse To Follow: Showout

Second at Chepstow on his first start, running to a fair level and shaping as if certain to improve. Will run much better next time with a race under his belt.