The Eclipse Stakes is a 10-furlong Group-1 race that is run at Sandown (Saturday 3.45pm). It was named after the legendary racehorse Eclipse who remained undefeated in an 18 race career. First run in 1886, it has been sponsored by Coral Bookmakers since 1976 – and is often referred to as the Coral-Eclipse.
It is open to horses aged 3 and over, though the classic generation have only won 2 of the last 10 renewals. Meanwhile, both John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have trained two winners in the last decade.
7 runners are set to go to post for the Coral Eclipse 2016.
Rated just 81, he hails from the same connections as Time Test, for whom he looks sure to act as a pacemaker.
My Dream Boat
Officially the top-rated horse, and seemed to win with a bit-up his sleeve at Royal Ascot where he came wide of the other runners. He was also an impressive course and distance winner earlier in the season, conceding Western Hymn 3lb, and he confirmed form with that horse by beating him over 3-lengths at Royal Ascot.
His trainer Roger Charlton won the 2013 renewal, and this looks an obvious race for his stable star after a recent Group-3 win over course and distance, when he gave Western Hymn 5lb and a beating. Has won on soft, but his best performances have been on fast ground so far.
Triple course and distance winner, but has been beaten by both Time Test and My Dream Boat this year. Trainer John Gosden has won two of the last four renewals, but it’s difficult to see why this one will find the necessary improvement needed to win. Third last year.
Decent horse at a lower level, and looks a possible pacemaker for The Ghurka.
Godolphin haven’t won the race since 2004, but won it four times in the preceding decade. Hawkbill has been steadily progressive in winning a maiden, a nursery, a conditions race, a listed race, and a group-3 at Royal Ascot, but needs to improve another 10lb to be competitive here.
Impressive winner of the French 2,000 Guineas, and was backed like defeat was unthinkable at Royal Ascot where he was beaten by the English 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold. He’s sired by Galileo so has every chance of staying the trip on his first attempt, and 3-year-olds get a handy 11lb from their elders.
Eclipse Stakes Summary
If The Ghurka improves for the step-up in trip he should be very hard to beat, whilst My Dream Boat has proven he stays the trip and handles the course. It will probably be between the two if, as expected, Time Test doesn’t really like the ground – and My Dream Boat may be the value bet.