Roar­ing Lion’s fab­u­lous run to win the Eclipse at Sandown

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ROAR­ING Lion made it a day to re­mem­ber when win­ning the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown. John Gos­den’s star was the first leg in a pa­tri­otic dou­ble for many pun­ters who paired him with Eng­land in the World Cup later the same day.

Roar­ing Lion’s per­for­mance was all the bet­ter be­cause it came against a strong Bal­ly­doyle team who com­bined to make con­di­tions per­fect for Saxon War­rior, who went down in a driv­ing fin­ish.

Oisin Mur­phy had to bring the Gos­den colt wide to get past the Ai­dan O’Brien team but he still got the job done well.

Gos­den en­joyed en­joy the chal­lenge. He said: “If you watch the race, it was fas­ci­nat­ing tac­tics, as usual. And it got us in trou­ble, it got us three wide and it got us fur­ther back than we wanted. They were tempt­ing us to drop in but if you drop in, some­one then goes and puts you in the box.

“Full marks to Ai­dan for send­ing Saxon War­rior back here, cool as a cu­cum­ber. He looked great in the pre­lim­i­nar­ies and ran a phe­nom­e­nal race, this is prob­a­bly his per­fect trip.”

There was some bump­ing in the clos­ing stages and a stew­ards’ that took a lot longer than the race did. Mur­phy picked up a four-day ban for care­less rid­ing but was a happy man.

He said: “I knew I was on the best horse in the race here, that’s the bot­tom line.”

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