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Coral-Eclipse Stakes - 5th July, 2014

John Gosden's The Fugue produced a sensational performance to land the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and the top class five-year-old mare will look to build on that Group One success on July 5 when she heads to Sandown Park for what could be a cracking renewal of the Coral-Eclipse Stakes.

She propelled clear of Arc heroine Treve and former Irish 2000 Guineas champion Magician to land the one of the Royal blue riband events and if she can emulate that fine display in this 1m 2f showpiece then she will be tough to beat, but there could be a whole host of top notch raiders doing battle.

Richard Hannon's Night Of Thunder was sublime when storming to 2000 Guineas success earlier in the season, but he was unable to frank the Classic winning form with Kingman in the St James's Palace Stakes and he could look to bounce back here.

Verrazano was outclassed by Toronado in the Queen Anne Stakes and Aidan O'Brien may elect to send him up in trip as he aims for his first success on British soil and he is another stand-out entry in this race that has produced some sensational winners over time.

Derby runner-up Kingston Hill was taken out of the Irish Derby in the lead-up to the race and Roger Varian will be hoping for some inclement weather at Sandown Park and that three-year-old is interesting dropping back down in trip for this race.

William Haggas's Mukhadram will have a lot to find on form with The Fugue as he was well beaten by Gosden's starlet when the pair clashed at the Royal meeting and he will take his chance on Saturday, whilst War Command will be another challenger for the aforementioned O'Brien and is of interest if producing his best.

True Story failed to land any significant blow in the Investec Derby, but he may drop down in trip to contest this crackerjack, whilst the likes of Trading Leather and Tullius add significant depth to what is sure to be a fascinating renewal on a cracking card which also sees the Coral Charge star.

Latest Betting for 2014 Coral-Eclipse Stakes

2/1 The Fugue

3/1 Night Of Thunder

5/1 Verrazano

7/1 War Command

7/1 Kingston Hill

12/1 True Story

12/1 Mukhadram

20/1 Trading Leather

33/1 Tullius

100/1 Somewhat

200/1 Zambucca

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Coral Eclipse History

The Eclipse Stakes is one of the most prestigious all age races of the flat season in the UK horse racing calendar and with its Group 1 status it attracts a top class field each year to Sandown Park. The race is run over 1 mile 2 furlongs so often attracts the three-year-old classic horses including 2000 Guineas and Derby Winners as well as those older horses who have stayed in training. The race takes place in early July each season and it has a long and illustrious history having first been run all the way back in 1886, the first winner of the race was a horse called Bendigo while some great names have since followed in his hoof steps.

There is no surprise to find that Lester Piggott is the jockey with the most eclipse wins to his name with no less than seven race victories during his long career. Piggott first won the Eclipse in 1951 with Mystery XI while his final win in the race came in 1977 on board Artaius. It is rare for a horse to win the Eclipse on more than one occasion and that is highlighted by the fact that only four have won the race on two occasions. The most recent of the double winners was the excellent Halling who won for Godolphin in 1995 and again in 1996, he was ideally suited to Sandown and the 1 mile 2 furlong trip and took advantage to record his two wins.

We have had some particularly classy winners of the Coral Eclipse since the turn of the century and they include the great Giant’s Causeway in 2000, International star Falbrav in 2003 and the legendary Sea The Stars who won the Eclipse in 2009 as part of his perfect season. The appearance of Sea The Stars in the Eclipse in 2009 really gave the race a boost with plenty of widespread coverage, the horse had just won the 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby and was already being talked about as a potential great of the flat game meaning all the attention was turned on Sandown.

The prize money on offer and the grade 1 status it has means that it is a race that will continue to flourish over the coming years. There is always a plethora of horses that fall between the 1 mile and 1 mile 4 furlong trip making the Eclipse the ideal race to notch up a big win, this is true for both the three year-old classic horses and those older types who have stayed in training with an eye on some big race wins.

Recent Winners of the Eclipse Stakes

  •  2000 - Giant’s Causeway
  •  2001 - Medicean
  •  2002 - Hawk Wing
  •  2003 - Falbrav
  •  2004 - Refuse To Bend
  •  2005 - Oratorio
  •  2006 - David Junior
  •  2007 - Notnowcato
  •  2008 - Mount Nelson
  •  2009 - Sea The Stars
  •  2010 - Twice Over
  •  2011 - So You Think
  •  2012 - Nathaniel
  •  2013 - Al Kazeem

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