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Coral-Eclipse 2016: Runner profiles for Sandown showpiece

| 02.07.2016

David Metcalf | June 30, 2016

Spotlight on seven Coral-Eclipse runners

The Group 1 Coral-Eclipse takes centre stage on a stellar card at Sandown on Saturday (15:45), and The Gurkha is currently a red-hot favourite to provide trainer Aidan O’Brien with another big race success.

As proud sponsors of the race since 1976, Coral look at the profiles of all seven runners for this year’s renewal of the prestigious 1m 2f contest:

The Gurkha

The Gurkha

  • Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
  • Age: 3
  • Form: 3112

Lightly-raced and rapidly improving colt, who is bidding to give leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien a sixth win in the contest. Looked a superstar when romping to a wide-margin victory in the French 2,000 Guineas, quickening clear to beat First Selection by 5 1/2 lengths.

The Gurkha then lost little in defeat last time out when chasing home Galileo Gold in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot after not getting the clearest of runs. Yet to race on ground faster than soft, but should be equally effective on quicker going.

My Dream Boat

Royal Ascot 2016 - Day Two - Ascot Racecourse

  • Trainer: Clive Cox
  • Age: 4
  • Form: 224-14201011-151

Has won two of his three starts this season and taken his form to a new level. In the last of those successes, My Dream Boat showed a tremendous attitude to dig deep and beat Found by a neck in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The runner-up is a proven top class performer, and the the pair pulled 3 1/2 lengths clear of the field to give the form a strong look.

There was no fluke about that victory and the son of Galileo is clearly thriving at present. Is 2-2 at the trip and effective on any going but best form has come with cut in the ground.

Time Test

Cambridgeshire meeting day 2

  • Trainer: Roger Charlton
  • Age: 4
  • Form: 21211410-1

Developed into a useful sort last season when winning three of his five starts, and looked better than ever on return to action when showing a smart turn of foot to beat Western Hymn by a neck in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes over course and distance.

Looked in need of the run beforehand and is sure to come on a bundle for that outing. Time Test is a strong travelling sort with a potent turn of foot, and all his best form has been on quick ground.

However, he has won on good-to-soft and has a good course record having won twice and finished runner-up once in three runs at the Esher venue.



  • Trainer: Charlie Appleby
  • Age: 3
  • Form: 03111-11

A rapidly improving sort who has won his last five starts and is bidding to give owners Godolphin a fifth winner of the contest.

Has won all five of his starts this season, and posted a career-best in the last of those when only had to be driven out to land the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot by 1 3/4 lengths.

Hawkbill has plenty to find on official ratings, but looks the type who may have even more to offer and well worth a try at this level. He is also versatile as regards ground and is unbeaten in two starts at the trip.

Western Hymn


  • Trainer: John Gosden
  • Age: 5
  • Form: 1-110144-1133-2223

Has a tremendous record at the track having won three of his six starts over course and distance. Ran very well to finish third in last year’s Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, and was then far from disgraced when third to stable companion Golden Horn in this race.

Is yet to get his head in front in four starts this season and has twice finished behind My Dream Boat. Western Hymn has also been beaten by Time Test, and has work to do with that pair.

However, he cannot be discounted at a venue which clearly brings out the best in him and five-year-olds have a good record in the race having won six of the last 12 runnings.


Classic trials day

  • Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
  • Age: 3
  • Form: 2-01402

Sole success came in a maiden at Dundalk, and could finish only second in a minor event at Gowran Park when last seen in action. In the race as a pacemaker for The Gurkha, and has no chance on form.



  • Trainer: Roger Charlton
  • Age: 4
  • Form: 0-04000-2

The lowest rated runner in the line-up, and has 41lb to find with the top 122-rated My Dream Boat. In the race as a pacemaker for Time Test, and will bid to ensure a strong gallop for his stable companion.


You’ll find more Sandown stuff on Coral’s dedicated page.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.