Horse Racing Tips

Sandown Eclipse Stakes Runner-By-Runner Guide: Troy to stand strong at Sandown

City Of Troy and Ryan Moore.
Daryl Carter looks to Troy to stand tall at Sandown

Daryl Carter gives Betfair readers a runner-by-runner guide to the Group 1 Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday, and says City Of Troy will take a world of beating...

Ryan Moore Superboost

Ryan Moore rides potential superstar colt City Of Troy in today's Eclipse Stakes at Sandown (15:35) and the combination are red hot favourites at 2/71.29 to land the prize after Aidan O'Brien's 3yo stormed to success in last month's Epsom Derby.

But if 2/71.29 is too short for you then the Betfair Sportsbook is where you need to be as City Of Troy ha been boosted to 1/12.00 to win today's feature race. Just click on the odds in the below banner to go directly to the pre-loaded betslip.

Before Monday's declaration stage, there were 55 entries for this race, that field was reduced to just 11 runners before being cut to eight at the final declaration stage. This is no surprise considering this race has attracted quality over quantity in recent years, but City Of Troy is the big draw at Esher on Saturday, it should be a thrilling contest from a fan perspective if not a betting medium.

Listen to Racing Only Bettor...

City Of Troy 1/31.33

The sensational City Of Troy put his 2,000 Guineas flop well behind him when running out an emphatic winner of the Derby at Epsom 35 days ago, and he will prove exceptionally difficult to beat despite this drop two furlongs in distance.

Aidan O'Brien's runner was outstanding as a two-year-old, and there were no signs of the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas distress when bursting through the line at Epsom and taking an age to pull up. On that evidence, some may now suggest the move back in distance is a negative. However, it seems he can do it all.

He will now face his stiffest assignment to date and will look to emulate Golden Horn, who was last to do the Epsom-Eclipse double nine years ago. He takes on his elders, but the handy 10lb weight for age allowance has seen his age group land this race for the last three years. Aidan O'Brien has made strong noise about the regard in which he holds City Of Troy and the trainer has won this race two of the last three years.

City Of Troy is an outstanding prospect and deserves his place at the head of affairs at short odds. Like the Derby, he is impossible to oppose, with quick ground and this stiff finish likely to play to his strengths.

Dancing Gemini 8/19.00

Dancing Gemini was a non-stayer in the Derby when only sixth behind City Of Troy, but he will be much better suited to this 1m2f test, and he is not easily dismissed despite having plenty to find with the favourite. He had shaped with promise when second in the French 2,000 Guineas over 1m, and he caught the eye from an unpromising position at Epsom.

There's an air of quality about him, and there is little doubt that this is his optimum distance. However, backers will be hoping that rain materializes to give him every chance. Although he is worth his place in this lineup, he lacks the star quality of City Of Troy.

Ghostwriter 10/111.00

Fourth in 2,000 Guineas on seasonal return and filed the same spot in the French Derby and showed he has a tremendous amount of ability. However, the reality of this task is stiffer than both of those, and he is flying too high here.

Jayarebe 10/111.00

The three-year-old arrives on the back of a career-best after scoring at Royal Ascot in the Group 3 Hampton Court, but he was fortunate to hold on there. This is a much, much tougher assignment, and he looks out of his depth on all known form.

Al Riffa 12/113.00

He offered plenty as a two-year-old, landing the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh and then finished strongly as a three-year-old behind the smart Arc winner Ace Impact in the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano. The form of his seasonal debut when a narrow fourth in France would give him minor each-way claims, but he will lack the pace to be competitive if the ground is on the faster side of good.

Sea The Fire 40/141.00

She has plenty of ability, but it is impossible to fancy her on these terms.

Stay Alert 50/151.00

Well held seven days ago in the Fillies Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh and now has a sighter at the colts and geldings and looks well out of her depth.

Hans Andersen 100/1101.00

Tough to make a strong case on his last three starts, having been beaten a combined distance of 61 lengths and is likely here for pace-making duties for City Of Troy. Very hard to fancy.

Eclipse Stakes Verdict

Ante-post punters may have been burned with White Birch (non-runner) but they would have also been stung with the bookmakers offering just two places. This race now has a field of eight runners meaning three places are up for grabs.

The traders have made it clear who they fancy and taking no chances with favourite City Of Troy, and I don't blame them - we have seen this movie before, year after year.

It would be shocking if Aidan O'Brien's City Of Troy failed to land this and having a pace maker in Hans Anderson will ensure this is run at a good gallop. The 10 lb weight-for-age allowance may be too much of a gap for older horses Al Riffa and Stay Alert to bridge, but the former may hold place claims on the best of his form.

City Of Troy is potentially a superstar, and it might be wise not to waste the win part of any each-way bet and look to the place market on the day. Dancing Gemini can fill the frame ahead of Al Riffa.

Now Read: Daryl Carter's Daily Tips Here


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