Thrilling Coral Eclipse Won By A Nose!
Well, what a thriller the Coral Eclipse turned out to be with the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Ulysses just getting the better of the Richard Hannon-trained Barney Roy in a head-bobbing finish. The winner was idling just before the line and I really had thought that Jockey James Doyle had galvanised Barney Roy to get up. The favourite Cliffs Of Moher was badly hampered early in the race and did well to get as close as he did in 4th in the circumstance. A bit of messy race granted, which once again underlined the lack of a top class middle distance colt this season. That said what a heart stopping finish and the Juddmonte International at York could be another great race if the three mentioned were to re-oppose again. A race I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cliffs of Moher win. As I mentioned in last week’s column I favoured the older horses Decorated Knight and Ulysses to the three-year-olds in the ante-post betting and I hope you got on at 8’s earlier in the week.
This Weeks Eyecatcher’s
There are four horses that should be added to your trackers this week.
Thursday 6th June
On to Victory – Eve Johnston–Houghton – The three-year-old came into the race on the back of a decisive win over 1m 4f at Salisbury on his previous start, he looked well in at the weights but a combination of the drop to 1m 2f and rattling fast ground wasn’t in his favour. Not surprisingly he was doing his best work at the finish as he stayed on well to be beaten a ½ length into 3rd. Both his career wins have come with soft in the going description – 2 wins from 3 starts 3 places compared 0 wins 5 starts 2 placed on good or quicker going. Despite his future weight rise his progression may not have ended particularly with a return to further and an easier surface.
Friday 7th June
Areen Heart – Richard Fahey – The son of Exceed and Excel put behind him, a poor run at Chelmsford on his previous start. That run was in a class 2 handicap and the drop back to Class 3 suited the three-year-old. The gelding was slowly away from the stalls and tended to over-race in the early part of this mile contest. He also met a bit of trouble two furlongs from the line and in the circumstances did well to get within 1 ¼ lengths of the winner at the finish. A winner of a maiden at Beverley on his final start as two year old there is a handicap in him off his present mark on a sound surface.
Saturday 8th June
Sword Exceed – Ivan Furtado – A winner on Lingfield’s Polytrack back in March. The three-year-old hadn’t run to that form in three subsequent starts on the all-weather and turf but this was much better from the gelding. He was travelling as well as the winner two furlongs out but he was on the other side from where the main action was and he had to settle for a staying on 4th. In the circumstances, this run can be marked up slightly. Shouldn’t go up for this run and a mark of 78 looks more than workable in this company now that his stable has hit some from whether on the all-weather or turf.
Ripoll – Sylvester Kirk – The four-year-old holds no secrets from the handicapper as this was his 26th career start. He has yet to win on turf – 0 wins from 12 starts 4 placed compared to his all weather record of 4 wins from 14 starts 7 placed. A winner three starts back at Kempton he didn’t fare as well back on turf on his previous start but this was better from out of the weights. He only finished 9th but he ran better than his final position suggests, as he got caught in trouble on the rail two furlongs out when trying to making his effort and by the time he got clear his chance of the places was over. This was a very competitive Class 2 mile handicap and when his sights are lowered there is turf handicap in him. So far his optimum conditions have been all weather, 7f to 1m, racing within 30 days of his last run – 4 wins from 10 starts 40% +28.5 6 placed 60%. His turf mark is 5lb lower than his all weather one now.
All that’s left is to wish you a profitable week’s punting.