Germany v Italy
The third quarter final of the European Championships takes place today and it is a real heavyweight battle between old foes. Germany and Italy have met numerous times over the years with some great matches having taken place, and I don't think tonight's will be any different.
Italy have been somewhat of a surprise so far in this tournament. They were labelled the worst Italian squad for decades by their press but have had a couple of brilliant wins against Belgium and Spain, and have looked a classy side.
Germany have looked their usual quality team but they have had some issues with finishing the numerous chances that they create. They started the tournament with Goetze as their lone striker but he has since been dropped and Gomez has been given the chance. Neither inspire too much confidence in that position, however they have such an array of talent in almost every other position it hasn't mattered too much and they appear to be peaking at the right time.
Although the Italians have looked really good so far, I think this German team will have too much for them and it will be them progressing to a semi final against France or Iceland.
15:45 Sandown - Coral-Eclipse
Seven runners go to post for what looks like a strong renewal of the Coral-Eclipse, won last year by the brilliant Golden Horn.
The Gurkha is odds on favourite and the French 1,000 guineas winner has strong claims. He was subsequently beaten into second place in the St James Palace Stakes by Galileo Gold, but this classy three year old was staying on at the finish which gives hope that he is able to see out the extra two furlongs here today. If he does last home then it looks as though he is sure to be there fighting it out at the finish.
Time Test is a four year old and therefore has to give eleven pounds away to any three year olds in the race, and I think this could prove to be extremely significant. He is a top class horse but was pulled out of Royal Ascot on account of the soft going, and although it is not as soft here today, conditions will be sticky which won't help his cause when conceding so much weight.
Hawkbill is the Godolphin runner who has made great strides since last summer, winning his previous five races. Last time out he was a very good winner of Group 3 at Ascot and steps into Group 1 company for the first time. He will have needed to come on a fair amount from that Ascot run to take this, but I believe there is plenty of scope for that improvement now he appears to have lost his quirkiness, and I am taking him to land this at a nice price.
Germany v Italy - Germany win - 3 points @ 13/10 (Paddy Power)
Sandown 15:45 - Hawkbill - 1 point @ 8/1 (Most firms)