After his stirring success at Royal Ascot, My Dream Boat gets the nod in what looks a complex running of the Coral Eclipse Stakes (3.45).
I don’t see any reason not to take his Prince Of Wales’s victory at face value given how impressive he was in softish conditions at Sandown earlier in the season. I believe he is the coming force.
Needless to say this is the first meaningful opportunity three-year-old’s have had to take on older horses at the top level so it may very well be the case that the Weight-for-Age received by The Gurkha is telling, but my initial suspicion is that this Classic generation is not an outstanding one and I still feel Aidan O’Brien’s colt will have to step up a little. As such I would rather go with a Group One-winning older horse at significantly better odds.
I’ve got huge respect for Time Test and it’s not so much that he won’t handle cut in the ground, it’s more that his most potent weapon is a sharp turn of foot and you can only suspect that weapon is going to be nullified by a dead surface.
My Dream Boat may be the least explosive of the big three in this but his form is right up there and he may yet be a touch underrated.
The Coral Charge (2.00) looks a golden opportunity for Brando after two slightly luckless runs in top handicaps. He had to come from an unpromising position at York and then in the Wokingham he was rather marooned with nothing much to race against in the closing stages. He showed really bright pace on both occasions, is on the up and he’s shown plenty of form on easy ground. In addition, the horses that look to be his most potent rivals have rather ebbed away.
In the Coral Distaff (3.10) I’m going to take a chance that Wilamina might be on her way to becoming a very smart filly indeed. Her trainer has only run a handful of horses lately but they have nearly all run well and her victory at Newmarket last time was striking both to the eye and on the clock. She will have to be every bit as good as I suspect she might be to win but the potential is clearly there.
In the Coral Challenge (2.35) I was torn between White Lake and Best Of Times and I’ve just come down on the side of the former who might be able to illicit a little more improvement. This is just his second run for Roger Varian but it’s worth remembering that this horse had the ability to win a valuable maiden at York on debut, when in the care of Luca Cumani, which was most unusual at the time. Things didn’t quite go right after that but this is a drop back into handicap company and the reappearance at Leicester was encouraging enough to make me think that there may be a bit more to come.
Best Of Times travelled again like a very good horse at Ascot, I just want to see him finish a race off. He’s certainly worth a saver.