Coral Eclipse - 2 horse race?
The Coral Eclipse at Sandown Park this Saturday is being seen by many as a 2 horse race. The 2 horses in question are Masar and Roaring Lion.
Masar has not ran since winning the Derby at Epsom in June. On that day he beat Roaring Lion by 2l. They have met on 2 other previous occasions. On those occasions Masar has beaten his rival 0.5l at Newmarket in May at the 2000 Guineas and 9l in The Craven in April at the same course. Both of those race race were of course over 1m. The Derby being over 1m 4f I think found Masar at his best.
In saying that he also has previous form at Sandown.
In September 2017 he won the 7f Solario Stakes although on that day he was ridden by James Doyle. His regular jockey is now William Buick. That win shows the colts versatility though, as in just under a year he has won races ranging from 7f to 1m 4f.
Roaring Lion headed into this flat season as one of the main contenders for the Derby. That was somewhat dampened by his run in the Dante after his comprehensive defeat. He then followed that up with a somewhat disappointing 5th place in the 2000 Guineas. I felt his run in the Derby where he came 3rd was fairly creditable as 1m 4f was probably stretching him to his absolute limit.
His most impressive performance this season has certainly been his win at the Dante at York. On that day he quickened clear to win by 4.5l. Whilst it was not the strongest renewal of this Grade 2 you can only beat the field in front of you.
What was interesting is that this was over 1m 2f the same distance as the Coral Eclipse is ran over. I believe that this give John Gosden’s colt the best opportunity to gain his first win over his nemesis. The question on everyone’s lips is will Roaring Lion have the speed to keep up with and then pass Masar?
Coral Eclipse - possible shocks?
If the front 2 are to cut each other’s throats then who could come from the pack and win?
With only 8 runners declared Aiden O’Brien has 3 of those running. Last years favourite Cliffs of Moher reappears but I think that he needs further than 1m 2f. His last win in May at Naas came over this distance but he has also been beaten at 1m 1f and 1m 3f in between.
Perhaps surprisingly he has allowed Saxon Warrior to run. He ran last Sunday in the Irish Derby and came in a disappointing 3rd. Since winning the 2000 Guineas his 2 runs in the Epsom and Irish Derbies have both left more questions than answers. Perhaps 1m 2f is the answer?
Happily is the only filly in the race and as such receives the 3lb allowance. I would be very surprised if she were good enough to win this. She went off a warm favourite for the Guineas and was beaten 2.25l. Then repeated that feat at the Irish Guineas to the tune of 2.5l. She now comes up against the boys so the form book really has to be turned upside down.
Hawbill won this race in 2016. I would be surprised if he was to repeat the feat on this going. Also he has not overly impressed me on his two runs this season where has not really quickened up when the race has started in earnest. In saying that he has the highest rated form figures and the form in the book.
Richard Fahey has kept Forest Ranger in the race. This is a step up in class for the gelding. Whilst he has improved steadily this season this I feel will be beyond him.
The same applies to Richard Hannon’s Raymond Tusk. He has only ran twice in two Class 4 races and been beaten in 1. Obviously Hannon has seen something to keep him in the race but what?
Coral Eclipse Tip of the Day
My Coral Eclipse tip of the day is ROARING LION to win.
Generally available at 3/1 with most bookmakers