THE CORAL ECLIPSE is one of the highlights of the flat racing calendar and the Group One contest will be setting tongues wagging once more this year as we have a clash of the titans in store. Ballydoyle’s superstar Australian import So You Think takes on last year’s Derby and Arc winning hero Workforce.
I have long been an admirer of So You Think and prior to the season beginning I backed him for both the King George and The Arc. However it seems the stable have opted to stick with 10f races since his disappointing second in the Prince of Wales, and, I have to begrudgingly admit he may be second best here again.
WORKFORCE looked like he had retained all of his class in a pleasing reappearance, winning the Brigadier Gerard stakes convincingly over the same course and distance he will face on Saturday. He will have fitness on his side and a strongly run 10 furlongs looks ideal for him.
MARGOT DID is a horse who is finally fulfilling the promise she showed in fits and starts last year and looks to continue her fine form by completing a hat-trick in the Coral Charge, a Group Three race run over five furlongs. Connections have changed tactics this season and it has worked a treat. Instead of attempting to come from last to first, jockey Hayley Turner has made all in the filly’s last two runs, tactics that have seen a transformation.
The Lancashire Oaks is the highlight of a fine card at Haydock Park and the Group Two contest looks a wide open affair with dual Irish and English Oaks heroine Snow Fairy opting for the Eclipse Stakes and the Jim Bolger trained Banimpire going instead for the Irish Oaks next month. The open race looks to be tailor made for VITA NOVA who looks to have the potential to be a smart filly. The daughter of Galileo ran Ferdoos to a neck upon her only career loss in a listed contest over same course and distance, the pair pulling 4 ½ lengths clear of the field. This looks the best piece of form here.
2.00 Sandown – Margot Did
3.10 Sandown – Workforce (Nap)
2.50 Haydock – Vita Nova