Charlie McCann of assesses the weekend’s racing action

Charlie McCann of assesses the weekend’s racing action

Wonderful cards at both Haydock and Sandown this afternoon and the feature race at the Esher track is the Gp 1 Coral Eclipse Stakes one of the great flat races of the season as the classic generation meet their elders for the first time over ten furlongs.

Some of the greats of the turf, Nashwan, Dancing Brave and more recently Sea The Stars and Golden Horn, have won this great race as three-year-olds. Three of that illustrious quartet had previously won the Derby whilst Dancing Brave finished runner up at Epsom having, arguably, been given too much to do by jockey Greville Starkey.

Cliffs Of Moher (3.35) is no Dancing Brave but the colt did finish second in the Derby when he came into the straight back in 14th place yet took up the running with a furlong to go, before being run out of it close home by stablemate Wings Of Eagles. This drop back in trip looks ideal and the hope is that jockey Ryan Moore doesn’t get too far back from his plum draw in stall one – at 2/1 with BetVictor he gets a narrow vote.

Barney Roy did us a favour at Royal Ascot but that was over a mile in the St James’s Palace Stakes and his stamina must be taken on trust. Eminent was reported to have been clocked doing over 40mph on the home gallops last week and is another dropping back from the Derby trip – this son of Frankel is 7/2 at BetVictor and represents the biggest danger in a race I expect to see dominated by the classic generation.

The form of Seafarer’s (4.40) second at Yarmouth last time to Daira Prince was let down earlier in the week when the winner disappointed but that was on soft ground and I hope the market overlooks the chances of the Marcus Tregoning-trained gelding.

I hinted earlier in the week that I was sweet on the chances of Humble Hero (2.05) in the opener at Haydock and this lightly-raced three-year-old looks to have a great chance having run away with a Doncaster maiden last time. The selection looks an out-and-out galloper and this extra quarter of a mile should suit the William Haggas-trained son of Derby winner High Chaparral. The selection has been well supported during the week and is 5/2 favourite at BetVictor although I expect him to drift to 3/1 overnight given the competitive nature of the race.

Abingdon will be a warm order in the Lancashire Oaks having won a modest listed contest on her reappearance by no less than ten lengths last time. She is 15/8 favourite at BetVictor and four-year-olds have won the last four renewals but I am going to take a chance on Hertford Dancer (2.40) each way at 5/1 after her fine third in the Ribblesdale Stakes last time. The selection looked all over the winner when taking it up two out last time and she looks to be improving at a rate of knots.

The Old Newton Cup is the big betting race of the day and I know there are many in and around the Newmarket area who feel Shraaoh (3.15) is very well handicapped for Sir Michael Stoute. The selection was backed as if defeat was out of the question at Epsom on his seasonal reappearance, but was never at home on the track. This more conventional course should suit and at 4/1 with BetVictor (each way four places) I would be disappointed if he were out of the frame.

In the finale Across Dubai (5.30) was a beaten odds-on favourite at Yarmouth on his reappearance at the beginning of May and his subsequent absence suggests there was something amiss. He is taken to go one better for William Haggas who I hope can bookend the card. Do note that Carigrad was due to run over C&D on Friday night for Hugo Palmer and I would be surprised if he ran again this afternoon less than 24-hours later.

The form of Falak’s (7.10) third to Hawkerland at Yarmouth last month was given a major boost when the winner was a facile winner at Chepstow earlier in the week and I expect this step up in distance to suit the Roger Varian-trained animal this evening at Nottingham.

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