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The Coral-Eclipse: Guide to all the possible runners

4 Jul 2018

Who wins at Sandown on Saturday. Here’s our guide to the ten entries left in the feature.

Roaring Lion will seek to get the better of old Masar at the fourth time of asking. Picture: Racingfotos.com 

Who wins the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday. Here’s our guide to all the possible runners in the Group 1 feature, which forms part of the Middle Distance Category of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

MASAR

Trainer: Charlie Appleby. General odds: 13/8

Form in Champions Series races: 31

Decisive winner of the Investec Derby last month, having previously finished third in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and been a runaway winner of the Craven Stakes.

Sets the standard and worth recalling his efforts as a two-year-old included winning the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown at the main expense of Romanised, the subsequent Irish 2000 Guineas winner.

ROARING LION

Trainer: John Gosden. Odds: 3/1

Form in Champions Series races: 53

Among the top two-year-olds and was an easy winner of the Dante Stakes at York, over the Eclipse trip, in between finishing fifth in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and third in the Investec Derby.

It could be this is his optimum trip and not much to find with Masar, who has become a familiar foe this season, to judge by their past two clashes.

SAXON WARRIOR

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: 7/2

Form in Champions Series races: 14

Anything seemed possible for him when he preserved his unbeaten record with victory in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, when he had Masar and Roaring Lion adrift.

However, he finished behind that pair when fourth in the Investec Derby on his next start and no excuses when third in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby last Saturday. Drop back in trip no inconvenience but will be making a swift return.

HAPPILY

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: 7/1

Form in Champions Series races: 3

Two-time Group 1 winner as a two-year-old – the second of those successes being achieved at the main expense of Olmedo, winner of this year’s French 2000 Guineas, and Masar.

Third in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on her return and then filled same position in the Irish equivalent before moving up in trip and finishing a close fourth in the French Oaks when not getting the rub of the green. Little doubt she has won more big prizes in her.

FOREST RANGER

Trainer: Richard Fahey. Odds: 16/1

Form in Champions Series races: 5-

Useful last season but has taken form to a new level this season after being gelded over the winter, winning pattern races at Newmarket and Chester.

Requires a new personal best elevated to this level but will arrive here fresh after two-month break and folly to underestimate with more improvement a possibility.

CLIFFS OF MOHER

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: 25/1

Form in Champions Series races: 2447-4

Started 7/4 favourite for the Eclipse last year after finishing runner-up in the Investec Derby on his previous start, but he could finish no closer than fourth and highlights since have been limited.

Distant fourth in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and then third in a muddling Hardwicke Stakes at the meeting just three days later.

HAWKBILL

Trainer: Charlie Appleby. Odds: 28/1

Form in Champions Series races: 18-3-53

Was winning his sixth race in succession when landing this prize two years ago and looked better than ever when beating Poet’s Word three lengths in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March.

However, he ran way below-par in the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom on his next start and was again not firing on all cylinders when a distant third to Poet’s Word in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on his latest start. Needs a revival.

RAYMOND TUSK

Trainer: Richard Hannon. Odds: 100/1

Form in Champions Series races: —

Unraced as a two-year-old but looked an exciting prospect when winning on his belated debut in a mile maiden at Newbury in April.

Beaten in a useful minor event at Newmarket on his latest start, though, when upped to ten furlongs, and now thrown in at the deep end.