Coral Eclipse 2013 Preview

The feature race this weekend is the Group 1 Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. The race is held over a mile and a quarter and always attracts a top quality field. It is often billed as a clash of the generations but there is only one three-year-old taking part this year, Aidan O’Brien’s Mars.

Irish Challengers

Mars started his season with a modest run in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket but shaped with promise in the Epsom Derby when finishing sixth. He was then third in the St James’s Palace Stakes over a mile at Royal Ascot, staying on well after being hampered. Ryan Moore has been booked to ride the colt with stable jockey Joseph O’Brien electing to partner Declaration Of War.

O’Brien had originally intended to run last year’s Derby winner Camelot in this race but has now decided that the colt needs a rest. Declaration Of War won the opening race of the Royal meeting, the Queen Anne Stakes over a straight mile. He has winning form over this distance and will be held up for his finishing kick.alkazeem

The Favourite

Roger Charlton’s Al Kazeem is the favourite with Bet365 having beaten Camelot decisively at the Curragh before confirming the form in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. The runner-up and the third from that race take him on again here.

Mukhadram set the pace under an inspired ride from Paul Hanagan and was only caught inside the final furlong by Al Kazeem. Jockey James Doyle will be keen not to let Mukhadram get too far ahead of him on Saturday. The Fugue stayed on strongly into third on her seasonal debut for John Gosden. She is the only filly in the race and won top class races over this distance last season in the Musidora and Nassau Stakes.

German raider Pastorius is ridden by Olivier Peslier and the combination teamed up successfully to win the Group 1 Prix Ganay in April. A trip to Singapore proved unsuccessful but connections are optimistic that they have the colt back in top form. The seven-runner line up is completed by Clive Brittain’s outsider Miblish, the mount of Richard Hughes. He made all of the running to win at Kempton earlier in the season but this is a much tougher assignment.


Tactics will be crucial to the outcome of this race and Paul Hanagan is expected to force the pace again on Mukhadram. With only seven runners, it is not going to be easy for Declaration of War and The Fugue to find cover but the favourite Al Kazeem should be able to follow in the leader’s slipstream. It promises to be another thrilling renewal.

2 Responses to “Coral Eclipse 2013 Preview”

  1. […] much more prestigious Eclipse Stakes is held on the same day as the Coral Challenge, but this is not to say that the Coral Challenge […]

  2. […] it will take a back seat in terms of interest to the more prestigious Eclipse Stakes on the day, the Coral Challenge will hold its own in terms of excitement and attraction it bring to […]