Racing: Nathaniel Eclipses rivals at Sandown

Nathaniel produced a tremendous performance on his first run of the year to land a thrilling Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

Sharply away from the stalls, the John Gosden-trained King George winner (7-2) was always in the 
perfect position under a confident William Buick.

Sent on three furlongs out, he found plenty for pressure to repel the strong challenge of 11-4 favourite Farhh. Twice Over (16-1), the 
winner in 2010, was third for Sir Henry Cecil.

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Unlike in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, when he reared up as the gates were about to open, Farhh, the mount of Frankie Dettori, broke well on this occasion.

Dettori took him back towards the rear of the field as stablemate City Style cut out the early pace under Ahmed Ajtebi.

Monterosso, another Godolphin runner and having his first start since winning the Dubai World Cup, was also handy alongside Nathaniel but began to struggle off the home bend.

Cityscape loomed up as a big 
danger but Nathaniel was still at the head of affairs with a quarter of a mile to run as Buick began to hit top gear. Dettori conjured a strong charge from Farhh but Nathaniel never really looked like 
being beaten and was in fact well on top at the line for a half-length victory.

Twice Over ran a tremendous race in third.

Buick said: “I have to say that was a fantastic training performance from John Gosden.

“To get the horse here in the shape he was in, all credit to John.

“He’s got real quality and he showed today what a good horse he is. I have always had a lot of faith in this horse.

“He showed his versatility and all being well he’ll go for the King George again.”