Postulation bids for Belmont Derby delight

Dermot Weld’s Postulation faces eight rivals in the Belmont Derby over a mile and a quarter at the New York track tomorrow.

Postulation bids for Belmont Derby delight

The Harlan’s Holiday gelding has had five races already this season and put up his best performance to date when defying veteran Parish Hall by a neck in the Listed TRI Equestrian Stakes a month ago.

There is a second European runner in French challenger Canndal, trained by Mikel Delzangles.

Opposition include Chad Brown’s Takeover Target, who is by the sire of the same name. Brown also saddles Startup Nation.

Aidan O’Brien sends Outstanding to America to bid for victory in the Belmont Oaks on the same card.

While Outstanding may not be near the top of the pecking order at Ballydoyle after failing to make the frame in both her starts as a two-year-old, she can boast a 100% record from two outings this term.

After winning a maiden at Naas in May, she returned to the same track a month later to claim the Listed Oaks Trial over this 10-furlong trip.

She will need to continue her upward curve as the race has attracted a competitive-looking field of 14 runners.

Among the promising fillies in the line-up are Todd Pletcher’s Itsonlyactingdad and Kiaran McLaughlin’s Sentiero Italia.

Closer to home, Jamie Spencer will again partner The Grey Gatsby for his mouthwatering clash with Derby hero Golden Horn in tomorrow’s Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

Ryan Moore steered Kevin Ryan’s stable star to victories in the Dante, the French Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes during a tremendous three-year-old campaign last season and was also on board for his first two starts this year.

However, Moore was unavailable for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, instead riding Michael Stoute’s Cannock Chase, and Spencer was back on board The Grey Gatsby as he went down by just a short head to Free Eagle.

Ryan tweeted: “The Grey Gatsby declared for the #CoralEclipse @Sandownpark, @JPSPENCER1980 rides and should be a great race.”

Moore is set to partner the Aidan O’Brien-trained Cougar Mountain, who steps up to a mile and a quarter after finishing third in the Queen Anne at the Royal meeting.

Epsom hero Golden Horn is the odds-on favourite to extend his unbeaten record to five for trainer John Gosden as he meets his elders for the first time.

Gosden also saddles Prince of Wales’s Stakes third Western Hymn, who won the Gordon Richards Stakes and the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown earlier in the year and is three from three at the track overall.

A five-runner field is completed by outsider Tullius.

Meanwhile, Elm Park is back in light exercise after being given a prolonged break following his disappointing run in the Investec Derby.

Last year’s Racing Post Trophy hero ran a decent race to finish third in the Dante at York on his seasonal reappearance, chasing home subsequent Derby one-two Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs, but was unable to lay a glove on that pair on fast ground at Epsom.

Having returned home sore, the son of Phoenix Reach was given some summer downtime by trainer Andrew Balding, who hopes to have his charge back on a racecourse next month.

“He was pretty sore after the Derby. The ground was quick enough for him and nothing went right for him, but he’s had some time off and some veterinary attention and is back trotting now,” the trainer said.

“The Derby is the one race you only get one shot at, so I don’t regret running and we always knew we’d be able to give him plenty of time after the race if things didn’t work out.

“That was the case and the one thing I would say is his Dante form looks pretty strong now.

“I’d hope he’ll be ready for a run somewhere in the middle of August.”

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