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The Coral Eclipse

3.35pm Sandown

MD
St Mark's Basilica winning the Coral-Eclipse
  • Distance 1m 2f 7y
  • Class 1
  • Group 1
  • Prize money £600,000

History

The Coral Eclipse Stakes, at one time Britain’s richest race, is a rarity – it’s named after a horse. Eclipse was a phenomenal 18th-century stallion, unbeaten in 18 starts. His excellence inspired the phrase “Eclipse first and the rest nowhere”, still used today to describe a dominating performance.

Fittingly, the Coral-Eclipse Stakes, run at Sandown Park over 1 mile 2 furlongs (2,000 metres) for three-year-olds and older horses, has always attracted high-quality fields. Take the first three finishers in 1903 – they shared seven Classic victories between them. That tradition has continued, with the 2009 race won by Sea The Stars, the 2000 Guineas and Derby winner (and, later in the same year, victor in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris).

The Coral-Eclipse provides the first major opportunity for three-year-olds, who have previously only raced at the top level against their own generation in races like the QIPCO 2000 and QIPCO 1000 Guineas, the Investec Derby and Investec Oaks and the St James’s Palace Stakes and Coronation Stakes, to meet their older rivals. The bookmaker Coral has sponsored the race since 1976, making it one of the longest-running sports sponsorships.

Current leading jockeys: Frankie Dettori, 4 wins (1998, 2004, 2015, 2019)
Current leading trainer: Sir Michael Stoute, 6 wins (1993, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2017)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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St Mark's Basilica dominates the Coral-Eclipse

French Derby winner proves his Class against older rivals

Whilst perhaps not containing as many runners as we would normally see, the quality still ran deep as St Mark’s Basilica ran out a ready winner of the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park under Ryan Moore.

Addeybb, Mishriff, El Drama and the winner made up one of the smaller fields in recent memory and the early pace was dictated by the veteran, Addeybb under Tom Marquand, seeking to expose any weaknesses in his rivals.

Far a large part of the first half of the race, the runners followed in single file before Mishriff, ridden by David Egan began to apply some pressure rounding the top bend. The pace of the race quickened from then and, initially, St Mark’s Basilica looked to be outpaced and it seemed increasingly likely the older generation would steal the Coral-Eclipse in 2021.

Moore, who is certainly no stranger to big race wins, galvanised his ride and straightened up after rounding the home turn and it soon became apparent there was plenty of petrol left in the tank.

As the older generation began to tire, the young pretender kept finding with the winning margin at the line a very impress three and a half lengths.

After the race, Moore said “I was hugely impressed, he’s won a Dewhurst, French Guineas, French Derby and has come here today and the two horses he has run against today are proven to be as good as there is anywhere.”

“He’s exciting, he’s a really straighforward horse and he’s got a really good turn of foot…”

Whilst the exact plan is yet to be set in stone, it seems likely that races such as the Juddmonte International will be firmly on this highly progressive colt’s agenda this season, and it seems unlikely that the Coral-Eclipse will be St Mark’s Basilica’s only Series win in 2021.

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

Compared to many of Britain’s leading horseracing venues, Sandown Park is ultra-modern. It’s only been in existence since 1875.

  • Course plan
  • Course Intro

Where many courses developed gradually and informally, Sandown Park was purpose-built on the edge of London. The town planners considered an alternative use for the site – as a lunatic asylum – but thankfully opted for the horses instead.

You can see such landmarks as the London Eye, Wembley Stadium and the Gherkin from the racecourse but most fans keep their eyes firmly fixed on Sandown’s famous hill finish, the stage of many thrilling finales. Legendary jockey Fred Archer rode a winner at the inaugural meeting, while Arkle, Mill Reef and Desert Orchid – over the fences, of course – all triumphed here. Sandown was the Queen Mother’s favourite course.

Its biggest flat race, the Coral-Eclipse Stakes in early July, is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.  It’s named after the undefeated 18th century racehorse, Eclipse, who became a hugely influential stallion with 95% of modern-day thoroughbred racehorses tracing back to him through their male bloodlines.

Getting there

Portsmouth Rd,
Esher
KT10 9AJ

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View fixtures

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