Nathaniel: as short as 9-2 for Coral-Eclipse glory at Sandown on SaturdayPICTURE: Getty Images
Nathaniel backed to eclipse Sandown rivals
NATHANIEL was a major mover in the ante-post market for the Coral-Eclipse Stakes on Tuesday as last year's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner was cut across the board to maintain a phenomenal run of success for the John Gosden stable.
As big as 9-1 with the sponsor on Tuesday morning, Nathaniel was cut to 5-1 by Coral and is as low as 9-2 (from 8s) with bet365 to make a winning seasonal comeback. He is a top priced 6-1 with Betfred, Boylesports and Ladbrokes.
Gosden enjoyed one of his best months in June with 22 winners and a Royal Ascot haul that included a Coronation Stakes victory, and began July with another Group 1 success when Izzi Top captured the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.
However, he spelt out the tough task he feels is facing Nathaniel on Saturday and said: "Obviously he missed his prep race which is not ideal. I think to ask a horse like this first time out against the likes of So You Think and horses that are already battle hardened this year is quite a big ask."
As Nathaniel's price contracted favourite So You Think was eased from odds-on to even money with bet365, Boylesports, Coral and on Betfair where Nathaniel traded at 13-2.
The going remained unchanged at Sandown at good to firm, good in places after 4mm of rain fell on Monday night but clerk of the course Andrew Cooper was expecting further rain on Tuesday night with up to 5mm forecast as an unsettled weather outlook remained.
Twice Over was confirmed as a runner after pleasing connections in a spin on the Limekilns round gallop on Tuesday morning in which he bounded clear of his usual partner Tranquil Tiger in the hands of Tom Queally. He will take his place alongside Khalid Abdullah's Cityscape.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to the owner, said: "Twice Over worked nicely and Sir Henry [Cecil] is keen to run him in the Eclipse. He will wear the green cap whilst Cityscape wears pink as the first colours."
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