A GREAT race, a golden outcome. Not that racegoers needed much reminding, but Golden Horn rubber-stamped his star quality at Sandown on Saturday with a towering display in the Coral-Eclipse.
Just five runners went to post for the esteemed Group One, but The Grey Gatsby ran an absolute screamer to give the form a really solid look.
Golden Horn, ridden by Frankie Dettori, fleetingly appeared in a spot of bother as Kevin Ryan’s colt gave chase along the straight, but the Epsom Derby hero got better the longer the race went on and ended up winning by three and a half lengths.
Since 1952, only four horses have successfully supplemented Epsom glory with victory in the 10-furlong Group One, with Sea The Stars the last to complete the double in 2009.
The John Gosden-trained Golden Horn has now joined that elite band, but also went a step further in becoming the first to win the Derby, Dante and Eclipse – a feat that has eluded the likes of Reference Point, Motivator, Authorized, Erhaab and Benny The Dip.
Gosden said: “What a lovely, clean race, with The Grey Gatsby right there. The Grey Gatsby ran a blinder. It was only in the final furlong that he shook him off.
“I thought it was a real ding-dong and then in the last furlong he’s asserted properly and strongly. He’s found three lengths.
“He’s a very high-class horse. He’s won his Derby, he’s come here and won the Eclipse.
“If he’s in good form, of course the King George would be wonderful to run in, but if it’s a dance too far then we wouldn’t. We will do right by the horse.”
Stablemate Waady earlier put himself in line for a tilt at next month’s Nunthorpe Stakes at York as the fast-improving sprinter extended his excellent record at Sandown in the Coral Charge.
Gosden said: “He’s put in a good performance, having had trouble in running. I couldn’t be more pleased with the horse. He’s going the right way.”
Saeed bin Suroor’s Basem and jockey James Doyle clung on in a pulsating finish to the Coral Challenge, while Eye Of The Storm landed a cosy success in the Coral Marathon under Pat Dobbs.
Lucy Wadham has her eyes on Group One glory for Lady Tiana after the filly gave the Newmarket trainer her biggest success on the Flat at Haydock.
Lady Tiana overcame trouble in running to land the spoils in the Group Two bet365 Lancashire Oaks and have her connections targeting the Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot in October.
Mark Johnston’s decision to turn out Notarised a week after he was unplaced in the Northumberland Plate paid off as the front-running gelding lifted the bet365 Old Newton Cup from his stablemate Watersmeet.
Barry Geraghty’s return to the saddle yesterday saw him finish sixth and second at Limerick on his first mounts as the new retained jockey to JP McManus.
Geraghty was appointed to the role last month, replacing the now-retired Tony McCoy, and was in action for the first time since suffering a broken shinbone in March.
He had another setback after being admitted to hospital with a kidney stone earlier in the week.
Geraghty said: “It’s brilliant (to be back), great (to get the job) and that was a nice introduction.”
Star of the show at Fairyhouse was Ainippe, as the filly successfully stepped up to seven furlongs to beat even-money favourite Majestic Queen in the Brownstown Stakes.