Coral Eclipse Day

Always one of the most anticipated contests of the year, the Coral Eclipse offers us the first chance of the season to see the Classic generation clash with their elders in this 1m2f contest. Won by a number of the true greats of the game over the years, the 2017 edition looks set to be a thrilling spectacle once again.

Coral Eclipse Stakes (Sandown) Preview & Betting Tips – Saturday 8th July 2017

Race Analysis

John Gosden’s Jack Hobbs is the top rated horse in this line-up, and is certainly a high class performer on his day. The 2015 Irish Derby winner has had his issues, but produced a stellar display to win the Dubai Sheema Classic on his first start of the current season. Hopes were therefore high headed into the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out. Unfortunately for supporters, he simply never got into contention that day, and trailed home last of the eight runners. That took his record to 1 from 5 at around 1m2f, and his three Group class wins have all come at 1m4f.

The best of the three year olds on official ratings, and therefore the best in at the weights is the Richard Hannon runner, Barney Roy. Four starts have yielded three wins, with the only defeat coming when runner up in the 2000 Guineas, in a race where he looked all at sea on the track. He steps up 2f in trip here which does provide a little cause for concern even accounting for how strongly he has been finishing over a mile. If he stays, he looks sure to go close.

Aidan O’Brien looks to boast a typically strong hand with his Epsom Derby runner up, Cliffs Of Moher, looking of particular interest. He is rated 3lbs inferior to Barney Roy by the official handicapper, but that only really equates to about a length, and whereas the trip is a question mark for the Hannon runner, we do know that Cliffs Of Moher sees this trip out very well. O’Brien also has an interesting second string in the form of Orderofthegarter. Second to Benbatl in the Hampton Court Stakes last time out, he had previously finished a good sixth in the French Derby and looks to be still improving.

Permian is another for the shortlist having landed two Group 2s and a Listed event already this season. A winner at up to 1m4f and on ground ranging from good to soft to good to firm, he is a versatile and talented performer and won’t go down without a fight. He does probably have a few pounds to find to win this, but it may not be beyond him and he can threaten the places at least.

Betting Tips

For us this is a straight choice between Cliffs Of Moher and Barney Roy, with the proven stamina at the trip just swaying us towards the O’Brien runner. There looks set to be plenty of pace on, which should suit this strong travelling type well and he looks to have a class edge over the likes of fellow three year olds, Permian and Orderofthegarter. Get on at 2/1 with Ladbrokes.