08 July 2023

Gosden ‘thrilled’ despite Emily Upjohn’s Sandown Eclipse

08 July 2023

Emily Upjohn is set to go back up to a mile and a half following her brave effort in defeat when chasing home Paddington in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

The Coronation Cup winner was beaten by half a length by Aidan O’Brien’s year younger rival, who was in receipt of 7lb, over 10 furlongs at the Esher venue.

John Gosden, who trains Emily Upjohn in partnership with his son Thady, felt the filly had lost little in defeat racing over a shorter trip in a four-runner contest.

He said: “It is disappointing when you only get four runners in a race of this class and nature. She has run great, a little slow out the gate, so she settled into third but had every opportunity up the straight and obviously had to take the length and a bit to get to him, but it was a superb race and we are thrilled with her.

“Back to a mile and a quarter – she hasn’t run a mile and a quarter since the Musidora (last year) – so obviously it was a super run and she is a mile-and-a-half filly.

“But full marks to the winner, he is a very laid-back, good-looking horse and he did it well.

“But of course, we are giving 7lb and that tells. But it would tell, it is a four-year-old to a three-year-old.

“I remember what Lester (Piggott) said, the three-year-old has the edge in the Eclipse and the four-year-old in the King George.”

Gosden would not shy away from taking the winner on again, but feels it is unlikely.

“I wouldn’t mind a crack at the winner again, but we’re going back to a mile and a half. I don’t think you’ll see him ever run a mile and a half – I would be very surprised,” he added.

“His pedigree, obviously, the dam stayed well, but I don’t know – Aidan (O’Brien) is capable of doing anything!

“You are more likely to see Aidan’s Derby winner (Auguste Rodin) in the King George. The races are the King George, Yorkshire Oaks and Arc – those are the three big races. We don’t have to run in the King George and you wouldn’t want to run in the Yorkshire Oaks as a prep.

“Enable was second in it (Eclipse) and she won it (King George), so older fillies can do it, but I would be very happy with her run.

“Great run and William Buick rode her perfectly. Jamie (Spencer on West Wind Blows) wisely stayed off the rail to get fresh ground on the outside and by staying off the rail it is going to mean no-one getting boxed in. It makes a big difference.”

Ed Crisford, who trains along with his father Simon, will be looking further afield with West Wind Blows, who was beaten six lengths in third.

He said: “He ran super and I’m really pleased with him. Jamie set nice, honest fractions and he ran his heart out. I’m very pleased he finished third and it was probably a career best for him.

“I think we will definitely be looking at international races with him. I think he could be very competitive in Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong. He has got lots of options over a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half and we will take it from there really.”

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