The Coral Eclipse is the feature race at Sandown where Golden Horn looks a penalty kick and is priced accordingly.
So we’ve decided to head ‘oop north for the Lancashire Oaks and concentrate on the Group 3 Sprint on Sandown’s under-card in search of a winner.
It was close but no Havana last week even though Jack Hobbs (10/11f) won the Irish Derby and Angel Gabrial (10/1) was placed in the Pitmen’s Derby .
As always inside the sweet spot is all good. Outside is mostly good but needs to step up a bit before we part with the cash. We’re thinking a Charlie Austin transfer here as a reference point.
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They’ll be gone quicker than Nigel Pearson in the speedsters’ smash up at Sandown where six of the more experienced runners tick all the boxes in this Group 3 contest.
But the rapidly improving three-year-old Waady looks a crack 5f speedball and has been going through the gears for John Gosden over the minimum trip. The daddy at Sandown with three wins from three course starts – he looked well up to Group 3 class when thumping decent field in a Listed contest here last month.
Spirit Quartz and Stepper Point have been dining at the top table Dual Group 3 winner Mecca’s Angel swerved Royal Ascot because of the fast ground and could be gonzo here too unless the rain arrives.
Salt Island looks an each-way play dropping back to this stiff 5f after finishing fourth to Muhaarar in the 6f Group One Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. Charlie Hills’ runner had Waady just under two lengths behind when fourth to Adaay over 6f and could stay on best at the finish if not out-paced.
Selection: Waady Each-way: Salt Island
A thunderstorm at Haydock on Thursday turned the going form good to firm to soft within the hour and the Lancashire Oaks could potentially turn into a slog in a bog if any more rain arrives.
Denis Coakley’s Miss Marjurie won a Group 3 over course and distance at the end of May where the going was described as good, good to soft in places and may just get away with it again on Saturday.
Four of this field (Lady Tiana, Criteria, Lustrous & Queen of Ice) were behind her that day but Lady Tiana in particular would be suited by an ease in the ground and less trouble in running – but has yet to win at 1m 4f.
Queen of Ice finished last in that contest on her seasonal bow but did win a 7f maiden at HQ on soft ground. She’s probably better judged on her nose defeat of Arabian Comet at York last year (with Momentus 5th, & Dark Crusader 9th) and a subsequent three-quarter length win over Jordan Princess – (also a soft-ground maiden winner) – at Newmarket last September.
Irish challenger Dark Crusader could out-run her double-digit odds as she loves dig in the ground and won a York handicap on soft last season has been dining at the top table (against Windsor Park and Forgotten Rules) in defeat this term.