It’s Coral-Eclipse day and although there are only four runners it’s still an intriguing contest between the classic year contender Paddington and his elders. The race is due off at 15:40. The ITV cameras are also showing three other races from Sandown plus three from Haydock where the feature race is the competitive Old Newton Cup which is due off at 15:15.
Following rain during the week, both courses are reporting good ground with maybe some slight ease in it. Here are my expert horse racing tips on the seven races.
Eleven go down to the 5F start for the Coral Charge, a Group 3 contest for three-year-olds and upwards. The race has a very open look about it with many holding decent claims. The best in at the weights is Mick Appleby’s Annaf, who if he can reproduce his 2 3/4L 3rd to Bradsell in the Group 1 Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot is arguably the one to beat.
He did go off 50-1 that day mind so there is a slight question mark over whether he can re-produce that run today. William Haggas’s Tiber Flow has to carry a 3lb penalty for last weekend’s win at Newcastle and is dropping to the minimum trip for the first time.
Charlie Hills is a dab hand with sprinters and saddles a brace here in Equilateral and Equality ridden by Jamie Spencer and William Buick respectively. Preference would be for the latter who was a very easy winner of a Windsor handicap over 5F last time.
Karl Burke’s Marshman also carries a 3lb penalty here and has the assistance of Ryan Moore. He can lose lengths at the start so he comes with his caveats. Any number of these could win so I’ll keep my stakes small and back the in form Equality under William Buick.
EQUALITY 1 point each way @ 8/1 with Bet365 bonus code (Paying top 4 places at 1/5 odds)
A valuable £100,000 guaranteed three-year-old 1M 6F handicap kicks things off at the Lancashire track and we have a good-sized field of fourteen for this one. Tom Clover’s exciting Rogue Sea has been well supported during the week and looks the one to beat on his handicap debut having impressed when winning at Yarmouth (10F soft ground) and Ripon (11F fast ground).
He steps up another three furlongs here which should suit and with Danny Tudhope in the saddle should be thereabouts. Sir Mark Prescott sends his hat trick seeking Pledgeofallegiance who stays well, having already won twice at this trip though has been raised 7lb for his latest comprehensive win at Doncaster only 8 days ago.
William Haggas saddles Lordship who laughed at his opposition at Yarmouth last time over this trip beating Miss Cynthia by half a length at Yarmouth. The handicapper stuck him up 8lb for that cosy win mind. Michael Bell brings his soft ground Chester maiden winner Banderas up from Newmarket and sports first-time cheek pieces for his handicap debut.
This is a tough handicap which will be worth following going forward and although I feel Rogue Sea could be the blot on the handicap he does have his stamina to prove and has ben well found in the market so I’ll take an each-way chance on the Haggas runner Lordship under Adam Farragher, who claims 3lb and was so cool on him at Yarmouth last time.
LORDSHIP 1 point each way @ 6/1 with Betfred promo code (Paying top 4 places at 1/5 odds)
A decent-sized field of fifteen goes to post for the valuable class 2 Coral Challenge, a handicap run over a mile. It has a very open look about it with many having claims on their best efforts. Roger Varian’s Perotto is undoubtably a well-handicapped horse on his old form when trained by Marcus Tregoning. He is nicely berthed in stall 4 with Tom Marquand doing the steering and has a claim.
Last year’s third Ouzo had a few of these behind when a credible 6th in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot last month and has to be one for the shortlist under trainer’s daughter Saffie Osborne. Saeed Bin Suroor saddles an interesting runner in Major Partnership who has been shunted up 4lb for his latest victory at Nottingham from Point Lynas. He is another who could run well.
The best outsider for me is the Ian Williams-trained Silent Film who wasn’t disgraced in finishing 8th (of 29) in the Buckingham Palace Handicap at Royal Ascot last month. He’s stepping up in trip here but has won over a mile and could be the value play each way. William Buick has been booked which can only be a positive and he’s the selection.
SILENT FILM 1 point each way @ 12/1 with Bet365 (Paying top 5 places at 1/5 odds)
The Lancashire Oaks is run over 1M 3f 175 yards and is a Group 2 contest for fillies and mares aged three years old and upwards. We have a warm favourite this year in the John & Thady Gosden-trained Mimikyu who’s been well-backed throughout the week having originally been put in at 5/2. Her best effort came last September at Doncaster’s Leger meeting when winning the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes in a first-time hood by 2 3/4L from Eshaada.
She flopped in the Group 1 Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot the following month but ran a cracker on her re-appearance on this ground that may have been too fast for her when going down by a short head in a Group 3 at York. There’s talk that she worked better than her stable companions Emily Upjohn and Soul Sister in a racecourse gallop last week at Newmarket and she will be hard to beat. Her biggest danger may well be the Richard Hannon-trained Aristia but she’s stepping up in trip and has yet to prove conclusively that she stays as far as this.
Sea Silk Road ran out an apt winner of the Lester Piggott Stakes (the old Pinnacle Stakes) over course and distance four weeks ago with two of today’s rivals Poptronic and Time Lock behind and William Haggas’s Sea The Stars filly is another who can take a hand in the finish but, for me, this is all about Rab Havlin and Mimikyu.
MIMIKYU 2 points win @ 6/4 with William Hill promo code
The Coral Distaff is a listed race for three-year-old fillies run over a mile and has attracted a field of eleven following the late defection of the favourite Breege.
In her absence the Hugo Palmer trainer Stenton Glider, who was last seen running second in the Group 2 German 1000 Guineas last month is the one to beat but I’m happy enough to take her on at the likely prices with the John & Thady Gosden trained Bridestones who was last seen when finishing mid div in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot although her finishing position would have been much better had she not been knocked sideways a couple of furlongs out.
She’s still lightly raced and may well have some more improvement to come. William Buick has been booked and she can take a very winnable contest.
BRIDESTONES 1 point e/w @ 9/2 with with Unibet (Paying top 4 places at 1/5 odds)
A maximum field of seventeen line up for this year’s renewal of the Old Newton Cup, a valuable class 2 handicap run over 1M 4F. The race has a very open look about it although if there is one horse who may be much better than his current mark then it may well be the William Haggas-trained La Yakel. He’s one of two Haggas runners in the field with last year’s third Gaassee being the other. Not seen since last October at Newmarket he did miss a valuable handicap at York at the Dante meeting due to the drying ground so has been ready to run for a while now.
This will only be his sixth-ever career start and will have to be part of the staking plan. I also want the Charlie Fellowes hat trick chasing Cumulonimbus on my side as he’s two from two at the Lancashire track with his latest win coming over course and distance and is working out nicely. A 5lb rise for that victory is unlikely to stop him from being competitive here under Richard Kingscote from a nice stall in eight.
Others with chances include Hughie Morrison’s Royal Ascot flop Maksud who’s surely better than that run and the Eve Johnson Houghton-trained Sheer Rocks who’s chasing a hat trick of victories although his latest win hasn’t worked out that well.
A tough call but I’ll split my stakes between La Yakel and Cumulonimbus.
LA YAKEL 1 point e/w @ 5/1 with Bet365
CUMULONIMBUS 1 point e/w @ 6/1 with BetVictor promo code
Only four have declared for the day’s feature, the Coral-Eclipse run over just short of 10F but it is an interesting heat with the 3-y-o Paddington going up in trip and the year-older filly Emily Upjohn dropping in distance. Check out my horse-by-horse preview along with my Coral-Eclipse tips ahead of the big race this weekend.
All odds are available at the time of writing.