The Aidan O’Brien three year old Mars will Eclipse his rivals in the Group One Coral Eclipse today at Sandown

Mars can join the pantheon of the stars that have won the Coral Eclipse this afternoon. Having looked unlucky in a number of his starts he can come good in the Group One contest today. As the only three year old in the race he will face a host of strong  and more experienced rivals including the progressive Royal Ascot winners Al Kazeem and Declaration Of War (his Ballydoyle stablemate). Mars has been held in the highest regard by connections and can fulfill the promise shown in his two classic appearances and that shown last time out at Royal Ascot. The filly The Fugue was running on well at Ascot and should relish the conditions but may be just short of this class. Front running Mukhdaram has many supporters but connections believe that he will find others too good. Mars will eclipse his rivals.

The supporting card for the Coral Eclipse features a number of horses that will looking for more luck than they had at Royal Ascot. Both Nargys and Wentworth have outstanding chances in the Coral Distaff (3.15) and Coral Challenge (2.40). Nargys looked like a winner when progressing through the field at Royal Ascot and Wentworth was full of promise when finishing fourth last time out. The Coral Charge (2.05) has a small but select field. If Kingsgate Native is in the mood the Coral Charge will be at his mercy.

The Old Newton Cup (the oldest race on the Haydock calendar) takes place later. Luca Cumani has a good record in the race and has chances with Franciscan. Even though he was second last time out he is not the most reliable of punts and for that reason Crockford prefers Stoute’s Opinion with Quixote holding each way possibilities. The Lancashire Oaks will go the way of the Irish raider Midnight Soprano who shaped very well when winning on her seasonal debut.

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Nargys (Sandown 3.15)

A length off winning the Sandringham at Royal Ascot, she was once considered as a potential Guineas winner. The way she travelled at Ascot suggests all of that potential remains. In what could otherwise be a weak contest her quality will stand out. With Jamie Spencer booked she looks a Dead Cert.

Crockford’s Whisper – Beacon Lodge e/w (Haydock 4.40)

Having won the listed Spring Trophy at Haydock twice and coming back into form on workable weights this whisper has an excellent chance. Looked unlucky last time out behind Galician and was not given a hard race. 14/1 are big odds for this quality performer. 

Fred Archer
Archer selects Wentworth

Archer’s Selection – Wentworth (Sandown 2.40)

Once considered as having classic potential and always highly touted including on his last start at Royal Ascot. Archer would have faith in this horse delivering on his potential in this valuable handicap.

Crockford’s gambles around the courses:

Sandown – Kingsgate Native (2.05), Wentworth (2.40), Nargys (3.15), Mars (Coral Eclipse 3.50), Duke Of Clarence e/w (4.25) and Number One London e/w (5.00)

Haydock – Masamah (2.20), Midnight Soprano e/w and Banoffee e/w (2.55), Opinion and Quixote e/w (3.30) and Beacon Lodge e/w (4.40)

Leicester – Sakuramachi (2.50) and Lexington Place (5.05)

Beverley – Lost in Paris (3.40)


(Featured Photograph – Mars before the Derby at Epsom by Stuart Rice)