Tuesday 25 October 2016

more Gosden gold

Golden Horn bids to become first to win Dante, Derby and Eclipse in same year

Not since our own columnist Mick Kinane famously guided the legendary Sea The Stars to Ecliplse glory in 2009 has a three-year-old managed to win the prestigious 10-furlong Sandown feature.

But according to BoyleSports and their neighbours in the bookmaking village, it is 4/11 that one of the Classic generation will reign supreme tomorrow afternoon.

Golden Horn is the sole three-year-old in the five-runner field and the Epsom Derby winner is rightfully odds-on favourite for the race, although trainer John Gosden is trying to play down his title of being a certainty for the race.

Despite doubts over his ability to see out the 1m4f trip of the Epsom Derby, Golden Horn still managed to cruise to victory and maintained his unbeaten record, with the blue-riband race added to his Dante Stakes success in May. Now, back over what is deemded his best distance of 1m2f, it should be fairly straight forward for the son of Cape Cross.

In opposition is The Grey Gatsby and we do have to acknowledge his ability.

The four-year-old is a French Derby and Irish Champion Stakes winner and few will forget him lowering the colours of Australia at Leopardstown last year.

Jamie Spencer will be keen to have another go on Kevin Ryan's stable star after the pair looked to be unlucky losers behind Free Eagle at Royal Ascot last month and he is certainly a horse worthy of contesting such a race but Golden Horn is unbeaten and is certainly going the right way. With the 11lb weight allowance, he is surely going to prove he is a very worthy favourite.

Gosden, who is of course fresh from his Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby success last Saturday, has quite a good record in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock, which also takes place tomorrow, and William Buick will ride his runner Criteria in the Haydock Group Two.

Two Irish runners make the journey with Pat Fahy sending over Ballybacka Queen, who should certainly make her presence felt, while Fran Berry is an interesting booking for Dark Crusader, who takes something of a drop in class for this and may be overpriced at 20/1.

However, it looks to be a race that rests between the two Cheveley Park runners on this occasion. Queen Of Ice is trained by William Haggas and had some good form last year but it is the Gosden-trained Criteria who gets the nod in a very competitive 11-runner contest.

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