The big summer flat race at Sandown comes in the form of the always intriguing Coral-Eclipse. Representing the first real clash of the generations, this contest normally provides us with the opportunity to see how the current season’s Classic crop stack up against their elders. In 2020 this was for horses aged four years and older due to its proximity to the Epsom Derby and Oaks ran the previous day.
The race was first run in 1886 and is named after the racehorse Eclipse who had an undefeated 18 race career between 1769 and 1770. In recent times, Derby winners Sea The Stars and Golden Horn followed up their Epsom victory with a win in the Eclipse. In 2019 the Sandown showpiece was won by wonder filly Enable.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 5th July 2020
- Winner: Ghaiyyath
- SP: 9/4
- Trainer: Charlie Appleby
- Jockey: William Buick
This Group 1 contest offers £250,000 in total prize money this year, and sees the runners tackle 1m2f of the Sandown course. The ground at the track is currently described as good with only minimal rain forecast.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good||1m2f||Group 1||£250,000||7 Runners||1/4 1-2|
Coral-Eclipse Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
This year’s Coral-Eclipse has a slightly different look to compared to previous editions due to the absence of any three year old contenders. Whilst the programme for the 2020 Classic generation doesn’t mesh well with what is one of the premier all age mile and a quarter contests the season, the race certainly doesn’t lack in quality, with the field including one of the biggest stars in the sport.
Of the trainers represented this year it is Sir Michael Stoute who boasts the best record. The Newmarket handler in fact needs just one more win in order to move out on his own at the top of the all-time trainers table. (He and Alec Taylor Jr each have six wins to their name.) However, the odds would suggest that Stoute may be up against it, with his sole entry, Regal Reality, being amongst the rank outsiders.
This has been a solid race for the favourites in terms of strike rate, with six of the past 10 market leaders getting the job done. No great prices amongst those winners, but still enough for supporters of the jolly to bag a level stakes profit of £3.03.
|Enable||11/10||128||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|Ghaiyyath||9/4||126||Charlie Appleby||William Buick|
Enable – 11/10
It’s been a very long time since a six year old has come home in front in this race, not since all the way back in 1886 in fact, but bidding to break that trend in 2020 is John Gosden’s superstar mare, Enable. That age trend would initially appear to be a concern for fans of the Khalid Abdullah-owned runner, but in truth not too many six year olds have attempted to win this in the past. Enable also doesn’t have to worry about conceding weight to any younger runners this year, and courtesy of the fillies allowance, actually receives weight from her two major market rivals.
Enable is also proven over this course and distance having landed this by a comfortable three quarters of a length from Magical 12 months ago. Considering she is 10 times a winner in Group 1 company, she boasts more top flight wins than the rest of this field combined and will likely prove very tough to beat if at her peak.
On the downside she does arrive on the back of a loss, as her 12 race winning streak came to an end in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last season. A second placed finish in one of the top 1m4f contests in the world is still no bad effort though, and the 273 day break since that effort shouldn’t be of too much concern, as she has won on the back of similar absences in each of the past two seasons.
Ghaiyyath – 9/4
It is always unwise to underestimate anything from the Aidan O’Brien yard in these top level events, and as such the chances of Magic Wand and in particular Derby and Arc fourth, Japan, have to be respected. The market would however suggest that the biggest threat to Enable comes in the shape of the sole Godolphin entry, Ghaiyyath.
Impeccably bred being by the dream combination of sire Dubawi and out of a Galileo mare, this one has disappointed on occasion in the past but, if judged on recent performances, does seem to be really finding his stride now at the age of five. Returning to the track at Meydan in February, he slammed a decent Group 3 field by eight and a half lengths in a performance which suggested a big season may lie ahead.
Stepped up to this level for the Coronation Cup at Newmarket last time out, the Charlie Appleby runner put in what was arguably a career best effort to score by a comfortable two and a half lengths from Anthony Van Dyck and Stradivarius. William Buick made all the running on Ghaiyyath that day, and it would seem that getting to the lead and being able to dictate is key to this horse, as all of his best efforts have come from the front. If allowed an easy lead here, he may just prove tough to reel in once again.
|2020||Ghaiyyath||9/4||Charlie Appleby||William Buick|
|2019||Enable||4/6||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|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|
|2013||Al Kazeem||15/8||Roger Charlton||James Doyle|
|2012||Nathaniel||7/2||John Gosden||William Buick|
|2011||So You Think||4/6||Aidan O'Brien||Seamie Heffernan|
About the Coral-Eclipse
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
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.
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 74 wins to 49 for the Classic crop. It should be noted that the 2020 race was only open to horses aged four and older as it was run just the day after the Epsom Derby and Oaks.
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 – £250,000 in 2020 but £750,000 in 2019 – 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.
In Sir Michael Stoute and John Porter it is a couple of Englishman who hold a narrow advantage as of 2020. 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.