Trade Commissioner is likely to go off a short odds favourite for Saturday's Coral Challenge, which is part of the undercard to the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown. The one mile, four yard contest has attracted 17 declarations and John Gosden's Trade Commissioner is currently 9/4 for this handicap race with Coral.
The lightly raced gelding has only been seen in competitive action four times, winning twice, and he has been raised 12lbs by the handicapper after his win over this trip at Salisbury last time out. The 4-year-old, who carries 9st 6lbs, comes from a fine background as he is the son of Montjeu and from the mare Spinning Queen, who won the Group One Sun Chariot Stakes on her final start. There is plenty in his favour this weekend as the in-form Gosden has a fine record in these types of handicaps, although recent race trends indicate that only one ante-post favourite has won the Coral Challenge in the past 10 years.
Ed De Giles' Spa's Dancer will bid to extend that poor run for the favourites and his gelding is a 6/1 chance in the latest odds. The 5-year-old, who carries 9-2, made all in the mud at this course last month and has since finished runner-up in a strong handicap at the Curragh, with the potential poor weather at Sandown a definite bonus.
The claims of Field Of Dream (8/1) don't look as strong as Jamie Osborne's gelding has failed to win since leaving the yard of Luca Cumani in 2010, although he was fourth in the Hunt Cup last time. Patrick Chamings' Directorship could challenge as he bids to build on three very decent runs this year, with Coral pricing him 10/1.
Charles Hills' Captain Bertie is also priced 10/1 and he looks to have solid claims, particularly with the softer ground likely to suit after he struggled on firm ground last time out. The Newbury Sprint Cup winner in April has recent race trends in his favour as five of the past six Coral Challenge winners have been aged four years old.
Meanwhile, Saeed Bin Suroor's Con Artist is a 12/1 chance after he finished third on his reappearance at Redcar, although a disappointing effort in the Wolferton Handicap since will be a concern.
David Simcock goes dual-handed this weekend and Vainglory could be one for each-way backers at 25/1 with Coral. The 8-year-old won a one mile handicap at York in October and has shown significant improvement in recent runs, with place claims not beyond him. Vainglory is joined by Mabait (28/1), who is on a recovery mission after a poor 2011 campaign for Luca Cumani.
Mark Johnston also has multiple entries as he goes with Switzerland (25/1), who wears blinkers after a couple of disappointing outings, and Fulbright (20/1), who was winner of the Woodcote Stakes as a 2-year-old.
9/4 Trade Commissioner
6/1 Spa's Dancer
8/1 Field Of Dream
10/1 Captain Bertie
12/1 Con Artist
16/1 Kyllachy Star
Odds supplied by Coral.com.
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