Jordan Yates' Sandown Eclipse Preview
The Eclipse takes centre stage this weekend over at Sandown which is of course a Group 1 affair that's ridden over a distance of a mile and two furlongs.
Unfortunately this year's Derby winner Masar has been withdrawn from the contest due to a slight issue therefore we are left with the horse that finished third to him at Epsom in Roaring Lion heading affairs for John Gosden trading at a general 13/8. He comes here with very solid form to his name with that third placed effort in the Derby, a dominant display when winning the Dante and a fifth placed effort in the Guineas. He's likely to put up another bold showing here with Oisin Murphy once again on board.
Ballydoyle once again have a strong hand and they are represented here by the likes of Saxon Warrior, Happily and also Cliffs Of Moher. Saxon Warrior is quickly turned out again here following his third placed effort last week in the Irish Derby whereas we haven't seen Happily since her fourth placed effort in the Group 1 Prix de Diane over in France.
2016 winner Hawkbill is now the main Godolphin representative following the withdrawal of Masar and he comes here with a little bit to prove again but is more than capable player on his day. If returning to his peak form he could well outrun his odds for trainer Charlie Appleby. Richard Fahey is represented by inform Forest Ranger who comes here off the back off two impressive victories this term and looks full of progression and Raymond Tusk makes up the field who's the complete outsider of the field at around 100/1 for Richard Hannon and Jim Crowley:
VERDICT: I'm going to stick my neck out here and side with SAXON WARRIOR which may leave you thinking that i'm losing my mind in this hot weather but I still think there's another big Group 1 performance in him and this might well be it. He's been disappointing since his Guineas win but has still finished third and fourth in two Derby's which is hardly the worst form in the world. He'll have to return to his best to lower the colours of Roaring Lion but I think he could well put in another big performance here with Donnacha O'Brien on board.