The Sandown Eclipse
The Sandown Eclipse Stakes, is a Group 1 race held in at the beginning of July every year. The race is for horses of three years and older over a distance of 1 mile and 1 furlong. The race see’s lots of the Derby runners go for it too, this making for a very strong competition, with top class horses.
A race named after one of the most famous horses of all time, Eclipse who was an unbeaten racehorse of the 18th century. He won a massive 18 races including the Kings Plate 11 times. When the race was first run it was actually Britain's richest race, with the prize being £10,000. The race in recent years has been sponsored by Coral and is now the Coral Eclipse. Previous winners include ULYSSES, GOLDEN HORN and HAWKBILL and this year we have some fantastic competition but more about that later.
The day always has lots on offer, and this year is no different. It will be any sport lovers dream with live racing on the track and Esher Hall playing the England game, so you can pop in between races. Then after racing Reggie Yates will be DJing and rocking the after party!
There are seven races on the Saturday including a group 3, listed and the big race being a group 1. Focusing in on the group 1 the Eclipse, it is looking to be a very competitive race. With all 10 runners now having their jockeys except of course the five Aidan O’Brien’s horses, all five of them may not run but we will be waiting on Ryan to make his choice of which one he will ride. Looking at the race the obvious choice looks like SAXON WARRIOR being a great price, and having ridden him on his last few outings, with SAXON now being officially declared it is looking like a rematch for him and MASAR. CLIFFS OF MOHER and HAPPILY are also entered for the race but no word on if they will both run yet.
The competing camp Goldolphin has two runners in the race, HAWKBILL for Charlie Appleby with James Doyle on board, he won the race in 2016 with William Buick on board and has had some great form since, most recently a third at Ascot. This time Buick will be on MASAR for Charlie, who of course was this years Derby winner and for me would be the one they all need to beat, this will be his first run since so he should be fresh for it.
Next we look at ROARING LION, a horse I feel may not have had his chance, he ran a fantastic 3rd in the Derby and won so well at York, if the way he was at York is how he turns up on the day he will take some beating for sure. Oisin will ride as always and the pair seem a great match, Oisin really understands the horse and has been a great campaigner for him.
We also have FOREST RANGER and RAYMOND TUSK, Racing Breaks ambassador Jim Crowley will ride for Richard Hannon on RAYMOND TUSK. Jim has never ridden him before and this will only be his 3rd time out but he is yet to be out of the top two! FOREST RANGER has won on both his last two outings and Tony Hamilton rode him last time, so he knows the horse well and how he can win!