Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 15:24 04/07/2014
Sandown stage one of the best Saturday meetings of the Flat racing season tomorrow with the undoubted highlight being the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at 3.50 featuring a mix of some of the classiest 3-year-olds and older horses in Europe in what should prove to be a fascinating affair, even more so should conditions allow Investec Derby runner-up Kingston Hill to take his chance alongside the likes of The Fugue and Night Of Thunder, but there is also a quality supporting card and it is the Coral Challange at 2.40 that appeals most from a betting perspective.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Russian Realm is likely to go off favourite despite finishing only ninth as the 5-1 market leader in Royal Ascot's Buckingham Palace Stakes last month and the well-bred son of Dansili could easily prove that form all wrong but on this occasion it is the lightly-weighted Lyn Valley who takes the eye at the bottom of the handicap off a mark of 94.
The son of Shamardal's form figures this season of 03000 hardly inspire confidence but they only tell half of the story as the 3-year-old has run with credit on a number of occasions most notably when fifth in the opening race on Investec Derby day behind What About Carlo. Ridden by Adam Kirby at Epsom Mark Johnston's charge had just been headed inside the final furlong when caught short of room, causing the horse to lose several places close home.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori in his most recent start when unplaced behind Born In Bombay in the Britannia Stakes at the Royal meeting, Lyn Valley ran much better than his finishing position would indicate after being eased considerably once his chance had disappeared, and at the standout 14-1 available with William Hill the mount of David Probert can finally get his head in front by lifting the £75k one-mile contest at the Esher venue.