Cliffs Of Moher has looked a really good horse over 12 furlongs at Epsom in the Derby but over that trip speed did not seem to be his ace card. It did not look to be the case, either, when he won (eventually) over ten furlongs at Chester in the race that took him to the top of the Derby betting. For that reason I really do not see improvement coming dropped back down in trip for Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse Stakes.
I see absolutely no reason why the excellent Barney Roy won’t improve for stepping up from a mile. A top-class victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes banished any 2000 Guineas demons but there looks to be more coming. Decorated Knight could run best of the older horses, especially if there isn’t huge competition for the lead but the older horses have to lump 10lbs more and I fully expect Barney Roy to outspeed his rivals.
Greenside has not visited too many racecourses in three seasons but one place he knows well and clearly enjoys is Sandown’s mile track.
He has run only twice this season both over the distance in Esher and followed up a very promising seasonal debut with a convincing win in a good handicap. Obviously this afternoon represents a step up in competitiveness but he is progressive type, even at six year’s of age, from a stable in good form and his entered in all the very good mile handicaps of the summer to come. He can win the Coral Challege at the expense of Royal Hunt Cup flop George William, who is better drawn this time.
The Coral-Eclipse card opens with a seven-furlong handicap that, on the face of it, might appear competitive but I think it will be won convincingly by Mojito.
William Haggas’s colt must settle a bit better than in his two runs so far this season but he has had a month off to work on that. He has run very well in both outings this term and both hinted at more to come. The Coral.co.uk Handicap looks like the race to target, too, as only a few look to have forward profiles. Mojito is the nap to pay for a few cocktails on a warm afternoon!
Rarely a week goes by without me getting excited about a Josephine Gordon runner and Big Country massively takes the eye in the Bet365 Old Newton Cup up at Haydock. This horse has been a terrific buy for my mates Chris and Martin Dixon of Racing UK and Timeform fame. No doubt connections will be hoping for a thunderstorm or two, but I have no doubt this is a Listed performer at least and is definitely worth a bet.
Dave Nevison's Saturday tips:
1.20 Sandown: Mojito at 15-8 generally available
2.25 Sandown: Greenside at 9-2 with Bet365
3.15 Haydock: Big Country at 7-1 generally available
3.35 Sandown: Barney Roy at 3-1 generally available