The Coral Eclipse Stakes is a Group 1 flat race open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. It is run at Sandown Park over a distance of one mile, two furlongs and seven yards and takes place this Saturday July 7.
The event is named after Eclipse, a celebrated 18th-century racehorse. It was established in 1886, and the inaugural running was won by Bendigo. At that time, it was Britain’s richest ever race. The prize fund of £10,000 was donated by Leopold de Rothschild at the request of General Owen Williams, a co-founder of Sandown Park.
The Eclipse Stakes was contested by high-quality fields from its inception. It was won by Ayrshire, the previous year’s Derby winner, in 1889. The first three finishers in 1903 — Ard Patrick, Sceptre and Rock Sand — had won seven Classics between them.
The race has been sponsored by Coral since 1976, and the most recent Classic winner to achieve victory was Sea the Stars in 2009.
Prince of Wales Stakes third placed horse Farhh was supplemented for the race on Monday to set up a rematch with his Royal Ascot conqueror So You Think at Sandown this weekend. And if the wet conditions continue throughout the week, this hands an advantage to Farhh, who enjoys the soft ground.
Last year’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Nathaniel, Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso and ex-Italian Group 1 winner Crackerjack King, plus Dubai Duty Free winner Cityscape and 2010 Eclipse winner Twice Over bring considerable depth to the line-up.
The Eclipse, the first all aged Group 1 race of the season in Britain run at beyond 6f, has attracted three from this year’s Classic generation with Dante Stakes winner and Derby sixth Bonfire joined by Ballydoyle’s UAE Derby winner Daddy Long Legs and Listed winner Cogito – eighth in the St James’s Palace Stakes.