Racing UK’s Coral-Eclipse analysis
Wednesday 4 July 2012
So You Think's retirement has blown wide open the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park with Godolphin's Farhh and Nathaniel vying for favouritism for the Group One contest.
Cityscape has been heavily tipped on account of his wide-margin victory in the Dubai Duty Free in March. Roger Charlton's six-year-old destroyed a high-class field at Meydan Racecourse, winning by four and a quarter lengths.
It was Cityscape’s first start over further than a mile and the way he travelled throughout the race suggests the 10-furlongs up Sandown’s hill may well be within his compass.
Although older horses have won nearly twice as many races as the Classic generation in the past 50 years, at six years of age Cityscape would become the oldest horse to win the ten-furlong race since the inaugural running in 1886.
Graham Cunningham, Alex Steedman and Gordon Brown take a look below at whether Cityscape can reproduce his Meydan form after his flop in Hong Kong in May.
Nathaniel was just under three lengths behind So You Think in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October over ten furlongs and a year older there are many who believe he might have improved past the former favourite.
John Gosden hit a rich vein of form last month and was crowned top trainer at Royal Ascot. Nathaniel was heavily backed earlier this week for the race, with the sponsors cutting the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner almost in half on Tuesday.
The trainer has warned punters that his charge will need the run on is first outing for 266 days, and has also cautioned that the four-year-old may not run on accont of the going - he is entered in the King George in two week's time. The team assess his chances below.
Monterosso’s Dubai World Cup victory is looked on with suspicion by many British-based punters and his effort is not without question marks. The Tapeta that was laid down at Meydan in 2010 is quickly becoming a difficult surface to predict. What is most interesting about the Tapeta is that 10 of the 12 winners of World Cup night races on the surface had already won on a synthetic track. Nine of those had already proved themselves at the billion-dollar racetrack so Monterosso could well have been flattered.
Although Monterosso's price is much larger than that of Farhh's, Mickael Barzalona will be sporting the blue cap of the Godolphin first string on te Dubai World Cup winner and the five-year-old is the highest-rated horse in the field.
Godolphin's Simon Crisford exercised caution to punters, however, about whether Monterosso would be fully wound up for this race on Racing UK this week, citing the big international races later in the season as targets.
According to Nick Mordin in the Weekender, Italian Group-race form is far stronger than British punters give it credit for. Falbrav famously took the Coral-Eclipse at 8-1 in 2003, having won the Group One Gran Premio di Milano and the Premio Presidente Della Repubblica. Misil lost by a nose at 25-1 in 1993 under Frankie Dettori, while Alteri ran third behind Oratorio and Motivator in 2005 at 22-1.
With the likes of Electrocutionist, Falbrav and Ramonti all coming out of Italy recently, Marco Botti’s Crackerjack King, who won the Premio Presidente Della Repubblica from Luca Cumani’s Asfare, should not be underestimated.
And then there is Twice Over, the 2010 winner. Sir Henry Cecil’s durable gelding struggled badly on heavy ground behind Colombian at Sandown in April and had to settle for second best behind Questioning at Newmarket eight days before that.
With no horse aged older than six winning the Coral Eclipse, is Twice Over now too old?
(App readers should visit the video section to watch our in-depth analysis)