Coral Eclipse - best memories
Monday 2 July 2012
Nick Luck - Nashwan:
Nick Luck kicks off our series with the imperious Nashwan, who in 1989 won the Coral Eclipse having already scored in the 2,000 Guineas and Derby at Epsom.
Although Nashwan went on to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, his jockey, Willie Carson, always believed that his mount's five length victory over Opening Verse was his finest performance.
Graham Cunningham - Sadler's Wells:
The exploits of Sadler’s Wells at stud are well documented but his career as a racehorse is often overlooked. An Irish 2,000 Guineas victory and a win in the Irish Champion Stakes is testament to that ability and the determination of Sadler's Wells to get to the line in front was for all to see at Sandown when he denied Time Charter under Pat Eddery.
Steve Mellish - Falbrav
Falbrav was an extremely versatile racehorse. Luca Cumani’s son of Fairy King collected eight Group 1 successes and among those victories were the Prix d’Ispahan over nine furlongs and the Gran Premio Di Milano over 12 furlongs. He turned around Royal Ascot form by beating Nayef, his Prince of Wales’s Stakes conqueror.
Richard Hoiles - Mtoto:
International racing is now a standing dish but in 1987 when Mtoto won the Coral Eclipse for the first time it was a different story. Due to apartheid, the appointment here of South African jockey Michael Roberts raised some eyebrows while American Steve Cauthen and Tony Cruz, from Hong Kong, stamped the international flavour on the 1987 Eclipse.
Chris Dixon - Notnowcato:
When Joseph O’Brien came up the stands’ side on Imperial Monarch in soft ground at Sandown in April it was a ride that had firm foundation in Ryan Moore’s incredible decision to take the long route in the Eclipse five years ago. As you can see from the camera angles, it was difficult to discern who had made the right decision, Moore or his seven rival jockeys. As he came up the stands’ side he avoided a thrilling battle on the far side that unfolded between Authorized, the Derby winner, and George Washington but held on by a length and a half.
Alex Steedman - Giant’s Causeway:
Six times Giant’s Causeway won a race by less than a length and his duels with Kalanisi in the Eclipse and then the Juddmonte International were thrilling.
In the Eclipse, Giant's Causeway first beat off Sakhee on his outside and then appeared to be collared by Kalanisi, who edged in front in the final furlong. The ‘Iron Horse’ was not to be denied, however, and stuck his neck out for George Duffield, his 53-year-old partner.
Niall Hannity - Sea The Stars:
Sea The Stars provided racegoers with a thrilling summer in 2009 when he registered six consecutive Group 1 successes. Throughout the season Aidan O'Brien threw everything at John Oxx's charge that he could muster at his powerful Ballydoyle stable, with Fame And Glory, Masterofthehorse, Rip Van Winkle and Golden Sword trailing in the wake of Sea The Stars in the Derby at Epsom.
It was a similar story at Sandown, when Rip Van Winkle went down by a length and would be the case next time out in the Juddmonte International at York, where Mastercraftsman, Cornish and Georgebernardshaw had to give way to the athletic champion. Fame And Glory led home stablemates Mastercraftsman and Grand Ducal in the Irish Champion Stakes while in the Arc O'Brien waved the white flag with Fame And Glory only sixth.
David Yates – Pilsudski:
Only five turned up for the Eclipse in 1997 but it was a high-class field with Benny The Dip, the Derby winner, and Champion Stakes winner Bosra Sham in the line-up. It was Breeders’ Cup winner Pilsudski that had the final say, however, after Keiren Fallon found trouble in-running on the filly Bosra Sham.
Andy Richmond - Halling:
Halling was another horse that had an iron constitution and both of his Eclipse victories were measured by a neck. John Reid was aboard the-then five year old and the Derby-winning jockey made all to hold off the persistent challenge of Bijou D’Inde.
Peter Naughton - Mtoto:
Halling is the last dual winner of the Eclipse, but the tough as teak Mtoto also took the Group One race twice also. In 1987 Mtoto beat Reference Point, that year's Derby winner, but it was the success over Shady Heights by a neck that lives long in the memory of Peter Naughton.
(App readers should go to the video section to watch the races)