Nathaniel defied a long lay off and a sustained challenge from Farhh to land the Coral Eclipse for the red hot combination of John Godsen and William Buick.
Coming into the race, connections of Nathaniel were understandably cautious as their star horse had not been seen on a race course since last October in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.
The stunning looking son of Galileo was settled just off the early speed by Buick as the Godolphin runner City Style took the field on a steady pace in the opening couple of furlongs in the 1m 2f Group 1.
Nathaniel was always travelling well and approaching the two furlong maker Buick made his moved and kicked his mount into the lead. That move was tracked by the Roger Charlton trained Cityscape who looked, for a fleeting moment, that he would trouble Nathaniel.
It wasn’t to be for Cityscape, who’s run petered out. It was left to the other Godolphin runner Farhh and Frankie Dettori to put it up to Nathaniel. The pair swooped upsides Buick and Nathaniel in the final furlong and the pair slugged it all the way up that punishing Sandown hill with Nathaniel digging that little bit deeper to hold off Farhh by hlaf a length at the post with previous winner Twice Over back in third place.
A visibly delighted William Buick heaped praise on the trainer and the horse after the race saying “It’s fantastic it’s going so well but that was a fantastic training performance from John Gosden. To get this horse here and in the shape he was in, it’s a credit to John. It was a real good training performance and the credit should go to him.
“He’s got real quality, he showed today what a good horse he is and I’ve always had a lot of faith in the horse. He’s beat a good bunch of horses and he’s showed his versatility today in a top-class mile and a quarter race. All being well, he’ll go back for the King George.”