Coral-Eclipse Betting Tips & Predictions – Sandown, Saturday 6th July 2019

Saturday’s big race comes at Sandown with the always intriguing Coral-Eclipse. Representing the first real clash of the generations, this contest provides us with the opportunity to see how the current season’s Classic crop stack up against their elders.

This race hasn’t seen a filly come home in front since Kooyonga did the honours back in 1992, but the market would suggest that this may fall to the fairer sex in 2019. It’s a couple of talented fillies who dominate the top of the betting this year, with the favourite in particular likely to prove very tough to beat.

Top Tips

Enable to win @ 10/11

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

1m2f is the trip for this Group 1 contest set to be run on good to firm ground this year and offering £750,000 in total prize money.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good To Firm 1m2f Group 1 £750,000 Max 17 Runners 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

The younger runners have more than held their own in this race over the years, with the three year olds coming out on top on 49 occasions, as opposed to 55 wins for the four year olds. Those older than four have landed just 17 of the 121 editions to date.

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2018 Roaring Lion 7/4 John Gosden Oisin Murphy
2017 Ulysses 8/1 Sir Michael Stoute Jim Crowley
2016 Hawkbill 6/1 Charlie Appleby William Buick
2015 Golden Horn 4/9 John Gosden Frankie Dettori
2014 Mukhadram 14/1 William Haggas Paul Hanagan

Analysis: No Eclipsing Enable

All eyes will be on the 2019 edition of this race, with one of the true superstars of the game pencilled in to make her eagerly anticipated return to the track. With just the two three year olds set to go to post, the balance of power looks to lie firmly with the older horses this year.

Gosden Keeps It In The Family?

Trainer John Gosden landed the first of his three Coral-Eclipse victories in 2012 with Nathaniel. This year he sends the most talented of Nathaniel’s progeny to date into battle, in the shape of his brilliant filly Enable. Unbeaten in her previous nine starts – including an Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George, two Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe’s and a Breeders’ Cup Turf – she is undoubtedly the one they all have to beat if anywhere near her peak.

This will be her first experience of Sandown, but having handled both Epsom and Chester with aplomb, the track seems unlikely to prove an issue. She is five years old now though – so the trends are against her – and will also be having her first run in 245 days, so her wellbeing has to be taken on trust at least to some degree.

Record A Reality For Stoute?

The winning-most trainer on display this year is the legendary Newmarket handler, Sir Michael Stoute. Indeed his six previous triumphs in the race put him in a tie for the all-time lead with Alec Taylor, Jnr. The horse charged with putting Stoute out in front on his own this year is the Cheveley Park runner, Regal Reality This son of Intello does undoubtedly need to take a step forward on what he has shown to date, but has always been held in high regard, and looked to post a pretty big career best in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes over this course and distance last time out. He cleared right away from the useful Matterhorn in the closing stages that day – looking to relish what was his first crack at this trip – and it would be no surprise should there be more to come from this progressive sort.

Time To Win For Williams

Just one behind Stoute and Taylor in the all-time list here is a certain Aidan O’Brien. If judged purely on strength in numbers, the Ballydoyle maestro looks to have a solid chance of adding to his haul, with five of the current 17 entries for the race hailing from his yard. In receipt of 7lbs from his elders, it is St. James’s Palace Stakes winner Circus Maximus who actually has the best chance on the ratings, but the one the market likes – and probable mount of Ryan Moore – is the Galileo filly, Magical. No match for Crystal Ocean in a soft ground Prince Of Wales’s Stakes last time out, she should find conditions here much more to her liking and, already a dual Group 1 winner, she is a filly to be feared.

Final Verdict: Enable To Win

Magical, Circus Maximus and Regal Reality all have a fitness advantage over the favourite here, but that may not be enough to tilt this in their favour. Magical has already been beaten fair and square by the Gosden star in last season’s Breeders Cup Turf, whilst neither Regal Reality nor Circus Maximus look to be quite in her class. If fit and well the jolly should take this.

About

Sandown Park Racecourse at the Winning Post
George Redgrave, flickr

The summer months provide a steady stream of top-quality racing action in the UK, and early July sees Sandown Park enter the fray with its only Group 1 contest of the season: the Eclipse Stakes. Held over just shy of 1m2f – 1m1f 209yards to be precise – the race has been one of the top contests of the racing year ever since the inaugural edition way back in 1886.

Whilst some races slowly grow into the top-class events that they later become, this race has had quality stamped all over it almost from the off. Derby winner Ayrshire came home in front as early as 1889, and with names such as Mill Reef, Brigadier Gerard, Dancing Brave and Golden Horn also featuring on the roll of honour, this is a Group 1 event which truly lives up to its billing.

The event has benefitted from one of the longest standing sponsorship agreements in the sport having had the support of bookmaking giant Coral since back in 1976, and is now known to all as the Coral Eclipse.

Star Who Put Others In The Shade

Bronze Statue of Eclipse at Newmarket

The Eclipse of the race’s title refers to a runner who did indeed eclipse all of his rivals back in the 18th century. Born during – and named in honour of – a solar eclipse back in 1764, the impressive chestnut, Eclipse, swept all before him in an unbeaten eighteen race career, before retiring to an incredibly successful career at stud. Should you trace the breeding lines of many of today’s top performers back far enough, you will find the name of Eclipse amongst their ancestry.

Given that stellar success, it is quite right that the horse has a race named in his honour. Eclipse in fact does better than most in that regard, being honoured not only by this race, but also the Prix Eclipse in France and The Eclipse Awards in the USA. A true legend of the horseracing world.

Clash of the Generations

One of the big selling points of this race – being open to all runners aged three and older – is that it represents one of the first real opportunities of the season to see the current season’s Classic crop tackle the best of the older performers to have been kept in training.

Chart Showing the Age of Eclipse Winners Between 1886 and 2018

The three year olds do receive a considerable 10lbs weight allowance from their elders in order to compensate for the greater physical maturity of those runners aged four and older, but, as we can see from the above chart, that hasn’t been enough to tilt the balance in their favour overall. The older runners lead the way with 72 wins to 49 for the Classic crop.

Whilst the stats would suggest the older performers may be the ones to keep onside. We certainly don’t want one too old. Just the one horse older than five years of age has come home front in this, and that came a very long time ago. All the way back to the very first edition of the race in fact, which was landed by the six year old Bendigo.

Stoute the Sandown King

As one of the premier mile and a quarter contests of the season, with excellent prize money on offer – £750,000 in 2018 – the race invariably attracts the best of the best from either side of the Irish Sea. This fact is certainly borne out when looking at a list of the most successful trainers in the history of the race which features legendary names from both the British and Irish training scene.

Chart Showing the Most Successful Eclipse Stakes Trainers Between 1886 and 2018

In Sir Michael Stoute and John Porter it is a couple of Englishman who hold a narrow advantage as of 2018. The still active Stoute may yet claim the lead as his own in the coming years as he continues to have top class talent at his disposal. In hot pursuit though is Aidan O’Brien, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were he who was out in front here before he calls time on his training career.

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