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Gosden closes on O’Brien for trainer’s title

Marco Botti’s Crackerjack King placed fifth at Coral-Eclipse and will next race at the Arlington Millions.
Marco Botti’s Crackerjack King placed fifth at Coral-Eclipse and will next race at the Arlington Millions.
Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

Trainer John Gosden and jockey William Buick continue their horse racing streak, first in Royal Ascot and then at the Coral-Eclipse this past weekend. Sunday Coral is quoting Gosden at 9-4 betting odds to edge out rival Aidan O’Brien and capture the trainer’s title.

Paddy Power lists the odds at 9-2 for Gosden to win his first-ever championship. Nathaniel won a close race against O’Brien’s Farhh (mounted by Frankie Dettori) at the Group 1 meeting at Sandown on Saturday.

"The upcoming King George at Ascot has a huge prize fund, and a win for either O'Brien's St Nicholas Abbey or Nathaniel would have a huge impact on the title race, while there will be plenty of prize-money on offer on British Champions day, so this is a race that could run for a while yet," said firm spokesman David Stevens.

However, Gosden left open the possibility that Nathaniel may not compete at the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, worth a total of £1 million, at Ascot on July 21. "Because of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics there are only two weeks, it's compressed, between the Eclipse and the King George, and that is not ideal when you've had a lay-off and have a tough race like Saturday's," Gosden told At The Races.

Marco Botti’s Crackerjack King placed fifth at Coral-Eclipse and will next race at the Arlington Millions. The four-year-old colt is a seven-time winner in Italy and his exploits include the Group 1 Premio Presidente Della Repubblica.

"He's come out of the race fine and I was happy with him this morning. He has taken it really well but, as I thought before the race, the ground was too soft for him," said the Newmarket trainer.