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Channel 4 Racing: O’Brien ace to emulate two greats at Sandown

| 02.07.2016

It’s Eclipse day at Sandown on Channel 4 Racing and Aidan O’Brien’s The Gurkha is’s nap of the day in the big race.

Just two other three-year-olds have landed the prestigious 1m2f contest in the last ten years, despite the substantial weight concession allotted to Classic-generation representatives and both were of the very-highest order.

The pair The Gurkha must emulate are none other than subsequent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winners Sea The Stars and Golden Horn.

It’s a tall order, but far from beyond the son of Gallileo. Read on for the reasoning and two more extravagantly priced picks from the day’s supporting card.

Nap – The Gurkha – Sandown – 3:45

It didn’t look Ryan Moore’s finest hour when the selection was given far too much to do in finishing second in the Group 1 St James’ Palace over 1m last time, having been hampered when coming with his run.

Improvement is expected returned to the more prominent riding style that saw him ransack the French Guineas two starts back.

Just one horse in the field, My Dream Boat, is within 10lbs of him at the weights and he hails from the Clive Cox yard, which hasn’t posted a single winner from 18 runners in the last fortnight.

N.B – Lady Camelot – Haydock – 2:15

John Gosden inmates have to be respected in a race he has pocketed in three of the last five campaigns, so the fact that he saddles a twice-raced mare (with one of those contests a maiden in 2014) cannot but get the pulse racing.

Lady Of Camelot scored at 16/1 in a Leicester maiden when tried in a hood in her first race for a year and a half just a month ago, not usually a precursor to a spin in Group-2-company.

However, the third and eighth have scored again since, while the second, Ajman Princess, was second to Even Song, a filly now rated 110, in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot on her next run.

Lively Longshot – Secret Art – Sandown – 2:35

Sir Michael Stoute’s Mutamakkin will be among the likely morning-line-favourites for this affair after a course and distance success earlier this month.

Secret Art was two-and-three-quarters of a length behind on that occasion and finds himself 6lbs better off at the weights for that encounter here.

The expected soft or good-to-soft ground is likely to suit him more than that rival, whose aforementioned win came on good-to-firm.

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Thomas Reynolds