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ITV Racing Tips: Bay Bridge can make Stoute top trainer in Eclipse

| 01.07.2022

The Coral-Eclipse Stakes is one of key races of the Flat season, the first Group 1 race outside sprints to produce a clash of generations.

This year’s Sandown feature pitches the three-year-olds Vadeni, winner of the French Derby, and the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Native Trail against some of Europe’s top older horses, Mishriff, Bay Bridge, Lord North and Alenquer.

Vadeni, a rare runner from France in this race, has been supplemented after a five lengths romp in the French Classic, otherwise known as the Prix du Jockey Club, and looks set to go off favourite.

It’s an intriguing renewal and the highlight of a quality day which also features the Lancashire Oaks from Haydock.

There will be four races from Sandown and three from Haydock on a seven race TV schedule. Coverage begins at 1:25 on ITV we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.

13:50 Coral Charge

Aussie sprinter Nature Strip produced one of the defining performances of Royal Ascot last month to confirm his status as the best in the world in his discipline. Equilateral was a not disgraced fifth in the King’s Stand Stakes and he drops in class for this Group 3 race with a very strong chance of getting back to winning ways.

His appearance at Ascot was his first run in over a year so he should strip fitter for that run and be able to show the likes of Mitbaahy and Raasel what’s required to mix it at Group level.

14:40 Lancashire Oaks

A hot renewal of this race for as it features Eshaada, winner of the Fillies & Mares on British Champions Day last year, and the up-and-coming Sea La Rosa.

But the one to beat will be the John & Thady Gosden filly, Free Wind who looked set for Group 1 honours after winning the Park Hill Stakes by seven lengths last September. She hasn’t run since, presumably because of an issue, but a repeat of that performance should be more than good enough to take this on the way to even better.

15:35 Coral-Eclipse Stakes

The day’s highlight has lived up to its billing by producing a couple of top three-year-olds to test themselves against their elders.

A year ago, St Mark’s Basilica emphatically beat Addeybb and Mishriff after winning the Prix du Jockey Club and the Aga Khan’s Vadeni will attempt to do the same after winning the French Classic by five lengths. That effort was head and shoulders above any previous performance and he rates a serious challenger.

Native Trail brings Classic form too having won the Irish 2,000 Guineas after finishing second in the 2,000 Guineas. Winning at the Curragh was tougher than expected and his ability to stay this new longer distance is not guaranteed. That is not the case for Bay Bridge. He may be the only horse in the field not to win at Group 1 level yet but that time may not be far away, perhaps even imminent.

He wasn’t suited by the slow pace of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and, if he gets a quicker gallop over the course and distance at which he won the Brigadier Gerard by five lengths, he can secure the seventh victory in the race that would make Sir Michael Stoute the Eclipse’s most successful trainer.

ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 2nd July

13:50 Sandown – Coral Charge

14:05 Haydock – 1m6f handicap

14:25 Sandown – Coral Challenge

14:40 Haydock – Lancashire Oaks

15:00 Sandown – Coral Distaff

15:15 Haydock – Old Newton Cup

15:35 Sandown – Coral-Eclipse


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Jonathan Lees