Allez France! Vadeni for Sandown glory in vintage Coral Eclipse

The Coral Eclipse is the feature event of a wonderful day’s racing, and it looks a vintage renewal of this mid-summer clash of the generations over ten furlongs.

2.25 Sandown

The eleven runner Coral Challenge over a mile wouldn’t be the strongest 100k race ever staged at the track and there is very little pace in the race.

Former John Smith’s Cup winner Sinjaari has been put in as the 5/2 market leader and he looks the one to beat given his excellent run in the Royal Hunt Cup last time when he was best of those who raced near the stands’ rail. He has only won two of his 18 starts, however, and I have thrown a few quid on TRAIS FLUORS.

The each way selection was a multiple winner in France but has only scored once in 17 starts in Britain. That was, however, under today’s pilot Silvestre De Sousa, over today’s C&D last June from a 7lbs higher mark.

He was not given a hard time in a tactical four-runner race at Windsor last weekend – dropped 2lbs as a result – but I thought he ran an eye-catching race in the Thirsk Hunt Cup back in May and, if he gets a decent gallop to chase, I feel he can run a big race at a double-figure price.

Recommendation: TRAIS FLUORS EW at 14/1 with Coral 3 places or 12s with William Hill 4 places       

3.35 Sandown

Bay Bridge, seemingly, had his limitations exposed by State Of Rest at Royal Ascot but, on reflection, he lost little in defeat with the winner – who did go slightly under the radar – given a wonderful ride from the front by Shane Crosse. There is no guaranteed pace in today’s race, and I wonder if Ryan Moore will adopt similar tactics and try to set his own fractions. Something must lead!

The classic generation won the corresponding race last year courtesy of French Derby winner St Mark’s Basilica and I feel a 3-y-old will land this coveted prize but which one?

Irish Guineas winner Native Trail may well have been drawn on the wrong side of the Rowley Mile when runner up in the 2000 Guineas previously, and the champion juvenile of 2021 put the record straight when scoring at the Curragh last time. His running style suggests the step up to 10f will suit but he is not guaranteed on breeding to get the additional quarter of a mile. He is reluctantly overlooked, and I believe the market has got it right with VADENI.

The selection was hugely impressive when winning the French Derby at Chantilly last month on good ground – officially soft – and it is great to see the Aga Khan’s colours back on a British racecourse. The famous green silks with red epaulettes have never won the Eclipse – Kalanisi came nearest when finishing second to Giants Causeway in 2000 – and the reclusive owner has forked out £50,000 to supplement his classic winning colt for the race.

I don’t want Christophe Soumillon to get too far back on the French raider, but I am sure the five other world class jockeys will have similar sentiments. The classic generation receive 10lbs from their elders and that might be the difference in the race of the flat season to date.

Recommendation: Vadeni at 13/8 Boylesports 

3.15 Haydock

The Old Newton Cup is one of the most competitive handicaps in the calendar – well normally – and there has not been a winning favourite in the last decade.

Gaassee has won four of his five career starts for William Haggar and justified short-priced favouritism when scoring at York from a 7lbs lower mark on his reappearance. He has winning form on soft and good ground, holds Group 1 & 2 entries later in the year and has an excellent draw in stall five.

He could easily turn this into a procession but 6/4 in a much deeper race than York seems a but skinny and I think IT’S GOOD TO LAUGH can reward each way support for Jennie Candlish.

It would be fair to say that the 5-y-old has not been the luckiest horse in training and he was constantly denied a run when finishing down the field at Ayr last month. He has been dropped 1lb for that effort, enjoys plenty of cut in the ground and connections have booked talented 5lbs claimer Harry Davies for the mount.

The gelding doesn’t have the best of the draw in stall fourteen, but he is often slowly away and needs holding up. He may need luck in running if they stick to the far rail in the straight, but they came up the stands’ side here on Thursday and I am convinced there is a big race in the selection.

Recommendation: It’s Good To Laugh at 16/1 with William Hill 5 places

4.25 Haydock    

Young Fire would have every chance in the competitive 7f handicap, but trainer David O’Meara had a couple of fancied runners run poorly at Epsom on Thursday evening and, at the time of writing, he has gone 40 runners without a winner.

MARSHAL DAN has run two very good races in defeat so far this term and a repeat of either run would give him every chance for Heather Main whose inmates themselves have not been exactly firing on all cylinders of late.

The selection is a C&D winner, goes on any ground and gets the each way vote in another ultracompetitive heat.

Recommendation: Marshal Dan EW at 9/1 with William Hill 4 places

7.30 Nottingham

TRIBUNA UFFIZI was in front one stride ahead of the line and one stride after the line at Leicester on his penultimate start at Leicester last week when carrying the nap but duly went one better at Bath during the week. He steps up in distance to 1m 6f for the first time this evening from a 6lbs higher mark but looks a real grinder and I consider the additional quarter of a mile a plus.

The negative is that this will be his fourth run in less three weeks, but trainer George Scott must believe he is taking his racing well.

Recommendation: Tribuna Uffizi at