Coral-Eclipse Stakes Betting Guide
This Saturday’s Coral-sponsored Eclipse Stakes gives racing fans the first time to see this season’s 3 year-olds take on the older horses.
Run over 1m2f at Sandown Park racecourse the contest always attracts some of the best middle distance horses in training, and the 2012 race has been thrown wide open after last year's winner, So You Think, now MISSES THE RACE due to being found lame earlier in the week.
So, with Aidan O'Brien's charge now out of Saturday's contest and ALL of the last 10 winners having already landed a Group One many people have latched onto last season's King George winner Nathaniel and the recently supplemented Farhh.
Horse racing trends expert Andy Newton looks back at recent winners, and highlights the key stats to be looking out for.
Eclipse Stakes Recent Winners
2011 – So You Think (4/11 fav)
2010 - Twice Over (13/8 fav)
2009 – Sea The Stars (4/7 fav)
2008 – Mount Nelson (7/2)
2007 – Notnowcato (7/1)
2006 – David Junior (9/4)
2005 – Oratorio (12/1)
2004 – Refuse To Bend (15/2)
2003 – Falbrav (8/1)
2002 – Hawk Wing (8/15 fav)
Eclipse Stakes Betting Trends
10/10 – Previous Group One winner
10/10 – Aged 5 or younger
9/10 – Had at least 2 previous runs that season
8/10 – Favourites placed
8/10 – Had between 2 and 3 previous runs that season
7/10 – Placed in their previous race
7/10 – Ran at Royal Ascot last time out (only one won though)
5/10 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
4/10 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
4/10 – Winning favourites
3/10 – Ran in the Epsom Derby that season
Andy Newton’s Verdict
So You Think would, have course, been sent off favourite for the race as he looked to follow-up last year's win, but we all know he's to now miss the contest after being found lame. His defection has seen Godolphin's Farhh, who was supplemented earlier in the week, move to the top of the betting as trainer Saeed Bin Suroor eyes his fifth Coral-Eclipse victory.
This classy 4 year-old was a fast-finishing third in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out behind So You Think and having been badly hampered in the straight that day many thought he'd have gained his revenge over the O'Brien horse anyway. The soft ground will also be to his liking, as will the stiff finish the Sandown track provides, and in a race the boys in blue love to win then he's sure to be in the mix - Frankie Dettori gets the leg-up.
Derby sixth Bonfire is another worth a small mention as he clearly didn’t handle the tricky track last time, while this drop back to 1m2f is sure to suit. Roger Charlton's Cityscape is another that's had some positive things said about him in the build up to the race and the yard being in fantastic form - plus his jockey, James Doyle, went on record this week saying he'll be amazed if he's not in the first three!
However, the one horse that certainly has the form to take this is the John Gosden-trained NATHANIEL, and despite this being his first run of the season the yard have their string in fine order and he'll be well tuned up. He beat Workforce in the King George last season, and has gone well fresh in the past. Yes, some will question the drop back to 1m2f, but the softer ground and the stiff uphill Sandown finish will help bring his proven stamina into play - throw in the 'man-of-the-moment' William Buick doing the steering then everything points to a big, big run.
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