Saturday 1 October 2016

Watching Brief...

Published 27/06/2015 | 02:30

Trainer Andre Fabre
Trainer Andre Fabre

Next week's Eclipse Stakes promises a duel between Derby heroes Golden Horn and New Bay.

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John Gosden could saddle any of Western Hymn, Mahsoob and Eagle Top as well as his Epsom victor, with The Grey Gatsby another contender. Inevitably, though, it is the clash of the two elite three-year-olds that intrigues.

The Classic crop look bang up to scratch and Golden Horn is odds-on to reaffirm his Derby superiority. He is a proper horse and might well do so, but it is worth remembering that Epsom can exact a heavy toll on those that conquer the great race.

Dropping to 10 furlongs will also be a new challenge for him at Group One level, whereas New Bay - trained by Andre Fabre - proved himself at the Sandown trip in Chantilly and was second in the French 2,000 Guineas. New Bay beat Highland Reel tidily in the Jockey Club so, if the Ballydoyle colt prevails today, the 4/1 that can be had about him would disappear.

 

Lay of the Day

Richard Hannon's Sean Levey-ridden Fleeting Strike was a top-priced 4/7 last night for this evening's six-furlong maiden at Doncaster.

However, he has been beaten four times, latterly when clung on the line in a Newbury handicap by a maiden having its seventh start. In total, he has been beaten an aggregate 33 lengths, 16 of which are contributed by his sole foray over six furlongs at Chester. Ripe for taking on.

 

Dark Horse

Co Down handler Lee Smyth has his team in fine fettle and he has Duncan Of Scotland on duty at Doncaster this evening.

There are a few potentially smart sorts in opposition from high-profile stables, but this two-year-old Roderic O'Connor colt is no forlorn hope

Ridden by the irrepressible Graham Lee, who is back on here, on his Ayr debut over six furlongs 19 days ago, Duncan Of Scotland raced greenly.

However, when the penny dropped, he kept on for fourth, and the half-length third King's Pavilion won well on Monday. Clearly, Duncan Of Scotland needs to come on for that, but seven furlongs here will suit.

 

A Little Each-Way

The Northumberland Plate came onto Willie Mullins' radar when a year ago when Lucky Bridle contested the Newcastle two-miler.

While he failed to stay, Mullins tested the water, and he has booked last year's second-place jockey Martin Harley for Max Dynamite. The decision to run him under a big weight of 9st 4lb is surely significant. He wasn't disgraced in two French Group Ones in 2013, so he is worth an each-way punt at 14/1.

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