Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five to follow on Saturday at Sandown and Chester. View selections below
ONE of the big betting events of a spectacular sporting weekend is the Haye v Klitschko boneshaker, but racing serves up its own heavyweight championship in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown. Opinions seem to be equally divided between globetrotting So You Think and home hero Workforce, and I’m in the camp of last year’s Derby/Arc superstar. Sir Michael Stoute may not be banging in regular winners but his horses seems in good enough health and Workforce has been pleasing work-watchers at HQ. So You Think lost his ‘invincible’ tag at Royal Ascot, having committed early in the straight only to be collared by Rewilding, and I wouldn’t be rushing to take odds-on. Workforce is the more appealing wager at around 15-8.
TRIPLE ASPECT (2.00) can repeat last year’s success in the Coral Charge. This Group 3 sprint represents a slight drop in class for William Haggas’ five-year-old and he didn’t enjoy the clearest passage behind Delegator at York before chasing home a useful sort in Bated Breath at Windsor. Johnny Murtagh will be producing him late as usual.
FLYING CROSS (3.40) is an interesting sort in the Coral Marathon. John Gosden won’t run the four-year-old if it is too firm, but Sandown are unlikely to stint on the watering on such a valuable day’s racing. Flying Cross finished third in last year’s Irish St Leger when in the O’Brien camp and this Listed event is a logical starting off point on his first run for Gosden.
The Bet365 Old Newton Cup at Haydock is one of the big betting middle-distance handicaps of the summer with 17 runners declared. Barry Hills’ SHARAAYEEN (3.25) got bogged down in the Royal Ascot mud but his earlier run when beaten on the nod by useful Times Up on quick ground must put him in the mix from a good draw in stall three.
SEELO (2.15) is worth an interest in the opening Bet365 Handicap. The top weight was most impressive at Pontefract, scoring by seven lengths on fast ground, so his subsequent effort at Kempton, when playing second fiddle to Ivan Vasilevich, has to be marked down as disappointing. Returned to turf here, Gosden’s three-year-old could well bounce back.
BUSSA (5.30) is another who resented soft ground when trailing home at Chester. However, he showed his liking for a sound surface when edging out Cunning Act at Salisbury and the runner-up came out to pip Mark Johnston’s rapidly-improving Stagecoach Danman at Goodwood.