Steve Hughes looks ahead to the best of Saturday’s stellar card at Sandown, plus the big race at Haydock.
The fillies may well dominate in today’s Group 1 Coral Eclipse at Sandown, the only highest grade race at the Esher track in the calendar. However fitness may prevail over class this time around. I have selections from three races at Sandown, plus from the big betting race on Haydock’s excellent supporting card.
Sandown 1.50: Rumble Inthejungle
Give there is a perception that 3yo sprinters have a hard time against their elders, it is surprising that we have eight 3yo’s versus two older horses here. Preference is for Rumble Inthejungle who looks sure to be better back of 5f.
It was hard enough making his seasonal return in a Group 1 at Royal Ascot, but any chances he had were surely scuppered when he pulled too hard in the first half of the race over 6f. He looks much better suited to racing over the minimum trip and coming down slightly in grade here.
His juvenile form was excellent, highlighted by victory over the flying five at Glorious Goodwood at this Group 3 level. He ran a cracker to be third in the Middle Park to Ten Sovereigns at Newmarket at the end of last year, but again looked as if the 6f was slightly too far. Stall one is often an advantage on the sprint course here and if any jockey can exploit that to his benefit it is Frankie Dettori.
Sandown 2.25: Lush Life
Having produced a last to first performance in winning here in May over course and distance, I think Lush Life could have things run to suit her again.
With a fine 4-8 ratio overall, Lush Life clearly has the winning instinct and all of those wins have come when coming from the back of the field. It is no surprise then that Jamie Spencer gets the ride and used those tactics to perfection here recently.
A wide draw need not be a disadvantage here given she will be dropped in. What is crucial is a strong pace to help propel her into the race later on and with Zhui Feng and Via Serendipity amongst the line up, that should be forthcoming.
Haydock 3.15: Charles Kingsley
Beware the improving Mark Johnston handicapper and Charles Kingsley could have more to offer despite already winning twice this summer.
The 4yo saw very little racing before this season and as a result could remain unexposed. He won by 11l on racecourse debut at Beverley last term. He suffered a frustrating run of placed efforts earlier in 2019, but things have clicked into gear since.
He stormed home 5l clear at Hamilton at the end of May over 11f, before following up just four days later at Brighton. He contested his first class 2 contest at Ayr a couple of weeks ago and was far from disgraced in fifth. He was really getting going in the closing stages and a stronger gallop plus longer finishing straight at Haydock could bring about further improvement.
Sandown 3.35: Magical
There is no doubt that Enable is the class act in this contest and the mare has defied top class fields and various injury problems to win nine in a row. However she drops back in trip here to 10f for the first time since her one and only defeat at Newbury and given another delayed comeback surely this is the chance for Magical to claim a major Group 1.
She finished just ¾l behind the favourite in the Breeders Cup and that was when Enable was fully fit and firing after landing her second Arc. The fact that Magical could have a fitness edge must give here a chance of turning the tables.
Magical was a fine second in the Prince of Wales at Royal Ascot having won three contest in the spring effortlessly back in Ireland. Hunting Horn is in the field, presumably to ensure a strong gallop for the selection, who is proven over further – and to test the fitness of the favourite. I would anticipate Ryan Moore kicking on early to test the resolve of Enable.
0.75pts each-way – Rumble Inthejungle – 1.50 Sandown – 8/1 Bet365
0.75pts each-way – Lush Life – 2.25 Sandown – 10/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 4)
1pt each-way – Charles Kingsley – 3.15 Haydock – 14/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)
1pt win – Magical – 3.35 Sandown – 3/1 general