Classy Eminent tipped to Eclipse his rivals
Eminent can finally enjoy his moment in the spotlight by winning the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown today.
Martyn Meade's colt was a popular choice for the 2000 Guineas and the Derby after winning the Craven Stakes on his reappearance, but he fell short on each of those occasions.
However, there was little shame in being beaten just three and a half lengths by an on-form Churchill when sixth in the Guineas over what was probably an inadequate mile trip, particularly on the quick ground that Headquarters produced.
Hopes were high of Epsom redemption on his next run, but the race did not really pan out in his favour as he was nearer last than first coming into the straight, when he fairly flew home to finish just under two lengths behind Wings Of Eagles.
Eminent got a bit squeezed for room in the finish, too, so there is every chance he could have been a bit closer still to the reopposing Cliffs Of Moher on that occasion, so the length he needs to find may not take much doing.
Unlike Barney Roy, there are no question marks about him actually getting the trip and as a son of Frankel, it may well be that the drop down to 10 furlongs actually plays in his favour.
Meade has already indicated new rider Silvestre de Sousa will employ more positive tactics and taking advantage of the 10lb pull with his older rivals, Eminent can make it three Eclipse wins on the bounce for the Classic generation.
Jim Crowley has understandably opted for proven performer Muthmir in the Coral Charge, but his decision can benefit Dane O'Neill who takes the ride on Battaash in the Group Three.
Both of the Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum-owned runners have clear chances, but it was hard not to be taken by Battaash's bloodless victory on his seasonal bow at the track last month.
The three-year-old was slow to break that day and did himself no favours by racing freely through the early exchanges, but he still found a fantastic burst of acceleration when required to see off Koropick by a length and a quarter in comfortable fashion.
Battaash seemed to have plenty left in the tank at the end and given Koropick boosted the form with a Group Three win last weekend, Charlie Hills' runner is clearly a horse on the up.
High Jinx made a great start for Tim Easterby when third in the Yorkshire Cup on his return last month, and he can kick on again in the Coral Marathon.
Abingdon makes a swift return to action in the bet365 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock after cantering home at Pontefract at the end of last month.
Sir Michael Stoute's runner looked progressive last year, winning twice at Listed level before falling slightly short when upped to Group Two company towards the end of the season. She looked an improved filly for another winter on her back when turning out in a Listed heat at Pontefract just under two weeks ago.
Abingdon showed an impressive change of gear that day to win by an untroubled 10 lengths.
BELLEWSTOWN: 4.50 Tigris River, 5.20 Sierra Law, 5.50 Fenlon's Hill, 6.20 Herminio, 6.50 Colla Pier, 7.20 Qui Bono, 7.50 Theydon Park, 8.20 Tower Bridge.
BEVERLEY: 1.40 Duke Of Freedom, 2.15 Ghayadh, 2.50 Emphatic, 3.25 Oriental Relation, 4.00 Pioneering, 4.35 Pepys, 5.10 Spanish Beauty, 5.45 Quick Monet.
CARLISLE: 6.00 Mr Orange, 6.30 Weeton, 7.00 Bronze Beau, 7.30 Geordie George, 8.00 Framley Garth, 8.30 Rutherford, 9.00 Amazing Grazing.
HAYDOCK: 2.05 Zenon, 2.40 Abingdon, 3.15 Moonmeister, 3.50 Magical Memory, 4.25 Meshardal, 5.00 Moonwise, 5.30 Hugin.
LEICESTER: 1.25 Melonade, 1.55 Roses In June, 2.30 Light Of Joy, 3.05 Easy Tiger, 3.40 Uptown Funk, 4.15 Peach Melba, 4.45 Poor Duke, 5.15 Valley Of Rocks.
NAAS: 1.35 Seahenge, 2.10 Polly Douglas, 2.45 Miss Power, 3.20 Rostropovich, 3.55 Belle Boyd, 4.30 Shes An Art, 5.05 Jock Talk.
NOTTINGHAM: 5.40 Ted's Brother, 6.10 Arizona Mist, 6.40 Socialites Red, 7.10 Graceful Lady, 7.40 Anif, 8.15 Paradise Cove, 8.45 William Booth.
SANDOWN: 1.20 Almoreb, 1.50 Battaash, 2.25 Blair House, 3.00 Paco's Angel, 3.35 EMINENT (NAP), 4.10 High Jinx, 4.40 Frontispiece.
DOUBLE: Eminent and Battaash.
AYR (tomorrow): 1.40 Pouvoir Magique, 2.10 GWORN (NAP), 2.45 Regal Mirage, 3.15 Fred Watson, 3.50 Crazy Tornado, 4.20 Town Charter, 4.55 Dark Profit, 5.30 Perfect Words.
LIMERICK (tomorrow): 1.30 Cottonvale, 2.00 Madurai, 2.35 Knockraha King, 3.05 Jack Slade, 3.40 Top Of The Town, 4.10 Meadow Cross, 4.45 The King Of Brega, 5.20 Ainsi Va La Vie.
MARKET RASEN (tomorrow): 1.50 Western Miller, 2.25 Air Squadron, 2.55 Mille Nautique, 3.30 Work In Progress, 4.00 Maxed Out King, 4.35 Oscarteea, 5.10 Magnolia Ridge.
DOUBLE: Gworn and Dark Profit.