Farhh is the horse that I originally wanted to back for today’s Eclipse, but he was never really a big enough price.

In hindsight – ah hindsight, our old faut ami – I should have backed him at the 6.0 that one firm was offering ‘with a run’ after he finished third in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. I thought about it, but decided no. I had backed him for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at 10.0, and I wasn’t certain that there wouldn’t have been a sense of chasing if I were to go in again at 6.0 for a race that was over two weeks away. Sometimes you’re not thinking straight after you have backed a loser who looked unlucky.

Farhh did look unlucky in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, no question. He completely missed the break, which meant that he was further back in the field than ideal going around the home turn. He was hampered when early pace-setter Robin Hood fell back on top of him along the rail in the home straight, and then he got stuck between Planteur and the rail when he needed to go forward, as So You Think and Carlton House duelled up front.

By the time Christophe Soumillon on the pre-race free-sweating Planteur realised that he couldn’t win the race, and gave Frankie Dettori a little room on the rail, it was too late. There was just about time to save the each-way money, but not enough to win the race.

The fact that Farhh was able to pick up as well as he did once in the clear to get up for third place, under really just a hands-and-heels ride, told you that he is a high-class horse. He has raced just four times in his life, so there is the promise of much more to come. Also, he is by Pivotal and he has a round enough action, so the rains that are falling at Sandown are a significant positive. On good or fast ground he would have been much easier to oppose.

He is short, though, now at 3.4 in So You Think’s absence. The main worry about the Godolphin horse is that, given that he has run just four times in his life, he probably doesn’t take that much racing, and there is a chance that today’s race will come quickly enough after a hard race at Ascot. It may not have appeared as if he had that hard a race, but you don’t come out of handicap company to finish third in a Prince of Wales’s Stakes and not have a hard race.

I backed Cityscape each-way earlier in the week and, if I hadn’t, I would be backing him this morning at 6.8. He is still an under-rated horse in my book. He had been threatening for a while to put up a Group 1 performance, and he finally did so when he won the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan in March. He showed a turn of foot from the top of the home straight that day that only truly top class horses possess, he had the race well won by the time he passed the furlong pole, he had some high-class performers in his wake and he broke the track record.

He had never won a Group 1 race before that day, but he had shaped like a Group 1 horse on a number of occasions, most notably when he finished a close-up third behind Canford Cliffs and Goldikova – two of the best milers of this generation – in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last year on ground that really should have been too fast for him.

He proved at Meydan that he could stay nine furlongs, and trainer Roger Charlton said during the week that he is very hopeful that he will stay 10. Also, that Meydan win was on good ground, he proved that he didn’t need soft ground to be at his best. That said, at least a little bit of cut is good for him, so the rain is a positive.

Nathaniel has been well-backed all week, but it is going to be difficult for him to win an Eclipse on his seasonal debut, over a distance that is surely a fair bit short of his best. He is a 12-furlong horse in my book who would probably get further. Unless the rain turns the ground very soft, 4.8 looks very short.

Crackerjack King is an interesting recruit to the Marco Botti yard. His defeat of Afsare in a Group 1 race at Capannelle in May was given a boost of sorts yesterday when Luca Cumani’s horse was impressive in winning a listed race at Sandown, but he is a fast ground horse. He wouldn’t want the ground to deteriorate any further.

Bonfire represents the Derby form, but, Camelot apart, it is not a vintage Classic crop this year and Andrew Balding’s colt will have to put in a career-best by some way if he is to win. The other three-year-old Cogito is mildly interesting at a massive price, he could be a lot better than he has been able to show to date, he is a course winner and he was hampered when eighth in the St James’s Palace Stakes. It could be worth throwing a few quid away on him on Betdaq at 50 but, at current prices, Cityscape is the main bet.

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