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Eclipse Day predictions: Twilight a tempting Call for Saturday's action
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Enda McElhinney
Racing Post
With an expected frantic pace to aim at, Twilight Calls could be the one to capitalise in the Sprint Stakes
With an expected frantic pace to aim at, Twilight Calls could be the one to capitalise in the Sprint Stakes

- Eclipse Day: Best bet, each-way selection and treble
- Recommended bets include:
Twilight Calls to win the Sprint Stakes
Two Tempting to win and each-way in the Coral Challenge Handicap

Eclipse Day is back and we have picked out our best bets from the support card which features a fascinating renewal of the Group 3 Sprint Stakes and The Coral Challenge, a handicap over a mile.

Eclipse Day - Key info

First race: 13:15

Feature race: 15:35 Eclipse Stakes

The middle distance division is one of the most exciting in the Flat racing calendar and the Sandown feature of the Flat season is the Eclipse Stakes.

This year, there are eight runners which is a good turnout judged on recent runnings of this contest and City Of Troy has fairly obvious claims in his bid to back up his Epsom Derby success.

There is also a cracking support card that features a bundle of competitive handicaps but one of the best races of the whole day across the meeting is the Group 3 Sprint Stakes, race two on Sandown’s card.

Best bet of the day

 Twilight Calls to win the Sprint Stakes (13:50) @ 10/3

There is every chance that the Sprint Stakes (13:50) is going to be run at a furious gallop.

There are not many quicker than Live In The Dream out of the gates (the race’s current 2/1 favourite with LiveScore Bet) and he is going to be kept company by the likes of Desperate Hero, Equality, Apollo One and Purosangue who all like to go forward.

That all means it could set up nicely for a hold-up performer and one that looks set to go well is Twilight Calls. He has been running well in defeat this season, including when sixth in a Group 1 at Royal Ascot last time out and he was beaten under a length on his penultimate start.

He will need the splits as most of the field will probably head to the far rail but stall one can only be considered an advantage over this particular course and distance and if he does get a bit of luck in running, expect him to be right there at the finish.

Best each-way bet of the day

two Tempting (left) was a course and distance winner last time out and could have another big role to play
two Tempting (left) was a course and distance winner last time out and could have another big role to play

Two Tempting each-way in the Coral Challenge Handicap (14:25) @ 7/1

Two Tempting seems to have found a new lease of life this season, winning four of his five starts and he always seems to be underestimated in the market, as seen when going off at 12/1 for his course and distance success last time.

A 2lb rise for that effort looks on the lenient side from the assessor and it is hard to gauge where the ceiling of his ability lies.

Johnny Portman is one of the more underrated trainers in the training ranks and he may not have found the ceiling of this gelding’s ability just yet.

With a handy draw in stall five, he should be firmly in the mix.

Eclipse Day acca

Accumulators are always popular on the big Saturdays and it is no different on Eclipse Day with plenty of competitive handicaps to go at. We have picked out an each-way treble to follow at Sandown on Saturday.

Everyone loves a horse on a roll and Two Tempting is just that having won over course and distance last time out. That was his fourth win in his last five starts and he can continue on his upward trajectory here and confirm the form with some of the field from last time out.

Blake was a recent course winner, landing a one mile handicap in better style than the winning margin suggested on his penultimate outing and he seemed to be unsuited by the track at Epsom since when not much went right for him. However, he stayed on in eye-catching fashion towards the end behind two well handicapped sorts and he looks capable of running another big race here. 

There has been plenty to like about Balmacara’s career to date, shaping with lots of promise in an end-of-season maiden at Newmarket in November before winning back-to-back earlier on the season. He was beaten in his hat-trick bid at Epsom last time but he was another that did not seem to handle the unique challenges of that track and he can resume progress here.

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