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Melbourne Cup could be calling for Coltrane

3 minute read

Andrew Balding’s horses are in ripe form at present and Coltrane backed up his Ascot Stakes success at the Royal meeting with a convincing display in the Coral Marathon at Sandown Park.

COLTRANE winning the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot in England.
COLTRANE winning the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot in England. Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Not So Sleepy set out to make the two-mile heat a severe test, but when that one faded, Rob Hornby's patient ride aboard the 5-2 favourite paid off as he drew away from stablemate Silence Please with two furlongs to race and scored by 10 lengths from the staying-on Rodrigo Diaz.

Calling The Wind was a further three-quarters of a length back in third.

Andrew Balding may look towards the Melbourne Cup with the five-year-old, who has overcome a tendon injury which saw him miss the bulk of last season.

Balding said: "They are finding a bit of form. He is a great horse, this. He has been threatening to get his confidence back because he had a nasty injury which has just taken him a couple of runs to find his confidence.

"He won the Melrose and was very impressive that day, and he looked right back to his best there.

"Australia is a possibility. He has had joint surgery and seems sound now. He will certainly have an entry, but it is something we will have to assess nearer the time.

"He is in the Goodwood Cup and that is a possibility. Lonsdale, Doncaster Cup, all those sort of races (are potential targets)."

Balding also had news on Thursday's impressive Newbury scorer Upton Park.

He said: "He goes to the July Sale. It was a good performance and he is a nice horse. We bought him, it was a new venture, to package him for the July sales."

William Buick is inching towards his first jockeys' title and he made it 86 for the season as One Nation spearheaded a Godolphin one-two in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Stakes.

The Charlie Appleby-trained winner (11-8 favourite) wore down stablemate Golden Speech (10-1) to score by half a length in the seven-furlong contest, going one better than on his second start over course and distance 21 days ago.

Stormbuster stuck on well for third, a length and a half further back.

Buick, who will partner Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Native Trail for Appleby in Saturday's mouthwatering renewal of the Coral-Eclipse, said of the winner: "He put his experience to good use and got the job done.

"He was very slowly away the last time he ran and that conspired against him over a sharp seven (furlongs). He has been third second and then won, so three good runs."

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