The Gurkha To Eclipse The Rest At Sandown
Rarely does the pre-race build up of the Eclipse involve so much talk about the ground but this week it has been a hot topic because very few of the connections were mad about the rainfall at Sandown.
Aidan O’Brien still hoped yesterday that the track wouldn’t be hit by a deluge but it shouldn’t matter as he looks set to win the race for a record equalling sixth time.
Back to winning ways
The Gurkha finished second in the battle of the Guineas winners at Royal Ascot and you’d have to think that if Ryan Moore had his time again that he may have rode the race a bit different. It may be later in the season before we find out if it would make any difference or not but as The Gurkha steps up, against older company and to a mile and a quarter for the first time, we can look forward to seeing a very exciting colt again.
I tip my hat to you if you were on The Gurkha at 5/1 last Saturday or even 7/2 last Sunday. The 6/4 of Tuesday also looks very attractive but he’s 10/11 now and a worthy odds on favourite. My Dream Boat (11/2) has again been overtaken by Time Test as second favourite as Pat Smullen’s mount is now just 7/2 but that pair look set to be doing the battle for minor honours.
The Gurkha has only raced four times, he has been beaten in a maiden, won a maiden, added a French Guineas and finished second in the St James’s Palace Stakes. O’Brien is concerned about the ground and you have to acknowledge that but the way he won his maiden at a heavy ground Navan would lead you to think that he can get away with softer conditions better than most.
Getting the allowances from the older horses is a big plus and obviously the step up in trip is the unknown but there’s nothing to suggest he won’t relish it, especially the way he won in France.
10/11 will be short for many but as odds on shots go, The Gurkha is starting to look a very solid one.
The Gurkha (10/11) – 3.45 Sandown
*Prices correct at time of publication.