Nathaniel can Eclipse Rivals
Simon Holt expects Nathaniel to make a winning return to action in Saturday's Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
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3pts Nathaniel to win Coral-Eclipse at 10/3 (William Hill).
With So You Think a shock absentee from Saturday's Coral-Eclipse, Godolphin are now responsible for the favourite in the shape of Farhh.
He was a running-on third behind Aidan O'Brien's charge in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes last time, putting in a tremendous last furlong spurt to close up strongly on the winner and Carlton House having been caught up on the inside behind a fading pacemaker.
Farhh had won his three previous races although they were a maiden and two handicaps so that was a tremendous step up but I do wonder how he is going to take a second quick run in the space of a fortnight.
He's now four but has been very lightly raced with only four career starts to date and whether he'll be as good at Sandown as he was at Ascot remains to be seen. He's best with some cut in the ground though so any rain will be in his favour.
The horse I like here is Nathaniel who is a proven Group One performer. He's making his seasonal reappearance having won the King George at Ascot as a three-year-old.
He boasts top-class form having landed the King Edward VII before slamming Workforce and St Nicholas Abbey back at Ascot. A mile-and-a-quarter in softish ground could be alright for him.
John Gosden has warned he may need his first run back and the King George is his main target but looking at the other horses in the race Nathaniel looks to boast the strongest form.
It's hard to weigh up one or two of these who have been starring on the international stage. Monterosso won the Dubai World Cup but his best form on turf remains a win in the King Edward VII back in 2010. He won the Meydan showpiece in March but that was on the tapeta surface and he acts very well on it.
Cityscape put up a career-best performance in winning the Dubai Duty Free at the same meeting but was then beaten in Hong Kong. From what we know of this horse in Europe his form is of a reasonably high level but on a soft surface and, so far, not at beyond a mile - or at Group One level.
Bonfire and Cogito represent the three-year-olds. The former probably didn't get the trip in the Investec Derby but was struggling from a long way out and his previous win in the Dante doesn't look that strong.
Cogito won a couple of races at Newmarket and here at Sandown earlier this season and probably didn't get the rub of the green when starting slowly and getting hampered in the St James's Palace at Royal Ascot.
Neither of the three-year-olds look out of the top drawer to me though.
Twice Over has possibilities despite being seven. He was below his best earlier in the season and if he was back on song then he's ideally suited by this trip and is ground versatile.
He won this race in 2010, beating Sri Putra, and should have that rival's measure again but in a tricky race I'm taking Nathaniel to stamp his class on this Group One line-up.