Tracking the Horses – Sandown Park

Welcome to the first edition in the weekly column of “Tracking the Horses.” This week we review the action from Sandown Park. We will also take a sneak peek at some of the racing from Prairie Meadows in US racing.

This column will provide you with the latest news amongst the horse racing and betting community from the UK & Ireland to the US and Canada.

The UK saw a thrilling day of racing at Sandown Park on Saturday which saw multiple Group 1 races come to their epic conclusions. In the states, we’ve had plenty of action from Prairie Meadows which will also continue next week.


What’s Happening at Sandown Park

Paddington Triumphs In Coral-Eclipse

A two-day meeting at Sandown Park was the predominant affair for UK horse racing this week, with races over Friday and Saturday. Saturday saw the 2023 Coral-Eclipse take action on a day where seven Group 1 races would occur on one of the most highly anticipated Flat racing days of the summer.

It was Paddington who managed to secure the triumph in the Eclipse to hand trainer Aidan O’Brien his seventh win in the race. It was a third consecutive Group One victory for the three-year-old colt and prospects going forward for Paddington are shining bright.

Furthermore, it was his first race that would go on beyond a mile (10 furlongs) and, originally,  he wasn’t even supposed to be entered in the race at Sandown Park.

In second place was Emily Upjohn, who raced valiantly throughout. The multi Group 1 winner headed into the race in excellent form herself, and managed to push the Irish 2000 Guineas winner all the way. However, it was Paddington who would secure the win by just half a length.

What Next For Paddington? 

The beginning of August will see Glorious Goodwood hold the Sussex Stakes. The Qatar Goodwood Festival takes place in yet another one of the key festivals of the British Flat racing season. Some of the best horses will enter the Sussex Stakes in their bid to become Goodwood’s champion.

O’Brien himself has said that Paddington was not supposed to be entered in the Coral-Eclipse. Instead, he should have headed straight to Goodwood following the win at Royal Ascot in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

It is likely that the colt will still be entered into the Qatar Sussex Stakes, which would see Paddington drop back down to a mile. Keep an eye on the three-year-old who has a big future ahead of him and has shown a lot of class in his Group 1 victories so far.

Other Highlights From Sandown Park 

Success for Tom Marquand & Ryan Moore

Roger Varian trained horse Perotto claimed the victory in the Coral Challenge at Sandown Park on Saturday, despite being chased inside the final furlong by Ouzo. Jockey Tom Marquand rode two winners on Saturday afternoon and managed secure back-to-back wins. Firstly with Perotto, before riding outsider Mystic Pearl to a victory in the Coral Distaff by three quarters of a length.

Ryan Moore also had the pleasure of riding two winners on Eclipse day at Sandown Park. Having already secured the win in the Coral-Eclipse feature race, he was able to ride Lisboa to the win in the final race of the day by a comfortable margin.

Moore ensured a definitive triumph in the handicap for trainers John and Thady Gosen, winning by four and three quarter lengths.

A Magnificent Performance From Kylian

Let’s not forget about last Friday’s action from Sandown Park as well.

The 14:30 Dragon Stakes provided wonderful viewing as Karl Burke’s Kylian fired up the track to come from last to first place to secure a dramatic win. Moore was the jockey riding Kylian to help guide the animal in an enthralling sprint.

That was just the start in what would prove to be a fantastic Eclipse weekend for the 39-year-old at Sandown Park.

Prairie Meadows 

US racing this past week has included the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. Here we focus on the races that were part of the Racing Festival of Iowa. 

Cindy Murphy Wins 2000th Race 

It was a historical night for jockey Cindy Murphy on Saturday night as the 61-year-old managed to win her 2000th Thoroughbred race of her career. Murphy rode Crypto Mo to find victory in the Grade III $225,000 Iowa Oaks, beating out Saffie Joseph’s Imonra.

Crypto Mo is co-owned and trained by Murphy’s husband Travis Murphy and managed to win by two lengths. That gave the three-year-old filly a winning time of 1:44:16 and Murphy the first graded win of her career. Crypto Mo has had previous success at Prairie Meadows and also found the victory in the $50,000 Panthers Stakes back in June. 

Cornhusker Success For Giant Game 

A gate-to-wire win for four-year-old colt Giant Game handed trainer Dale Romans the victory in the Grade III $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap. Sired by Giant’s Causeway, Giant Game was able to fend off Saffie Joseph’s Skippylongstocking and secure the victory by three-quarters of a length.

Ridden by jockey Martin Garcia, Giant Game was never really tested in what was a comfortable triumph. The colt had a winning time of 1:49:86. That now takes his total earnings to $530,500.

Dead Heat Drama in Iowa Derby

The $250,000 Iowa Derby provided racing fans with plenty of theatre in what was originally a dead heat. However, following a stewards’ inquiry, 48-1 outsider How Did He Do That was named the winner. Uncanny.

How Did He Do That was involved in a photo finish at the line with One in Vermillion. Nevertheless, the latter was eventually penalized for impeding the Steve Amussen trained winner, as well as Heroic Move who finished in third.

The stewards’ inquiry revealed that One in Vermillion had fouled How Did He Do That late on in the race which cost the three-year-old colt the victory for trainer Esteban Martinez and owner Jonathan Kalman.

About the Author
Joe Berra
Joe Berra
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Joe takes care of the bits and pieces that sometimes slip through the cracks of the sports world. Efficiency and consistency is what makes different. JB helps keep Sports Hub’s content fresh and exciting, managing its many authors. From the New York area, Joe knew he had a knack for sports betting when his uncle was always asking him which side he was on as a young boy. His meticulous approach to the numbers formed his career path as a professional handicapper. Joe is sometimes called Jimmy Bagpipes, JB or Mr. B.