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Coral-Eclipse winners: Five great Sandown scorers

| 29.06.2023

We’ve taken a look back through all of the Coral-Eclipse winners and chosen five great Sandown scorers that stand out from an impressive list.

The race, named after 18th-century star Eclipse, has been sponsored by Coral since 1976 and the 1m 2f contest is always one of the highlights of Britain’s Flat racing calendar.

Some legends of the turf have claimed this prize so it wasn’t easy to select just five, but here are our top picks for the greatest Coral-Eclipse winners:

1971 Mill Reef

Ian Balding’s ace followed up a smooth Derby success by crushing much-vaunted French colt Caro in one of the most emphatic Coral-Eclipse triumphs.

Caro came to challenge Mill Reef between the final two furlongs but when Geoff Lewis asked for a response, his mount pulled away in decisive fashion.

Commentator John Oaksey declared: “He doesn’t just beat the Frenchman, he murders him! He leaves him standing…what a tremendous performance.”

Subsequent wins in the King George at Ascot and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp confirmed Mill Reef’s superstar status.

1986 Dancing Brave

Another one-sided Anglo-French battle went the way of Guy Harwood’s charge, who bounced back from a luckless defeat in the Derby with a breathtaking display.

Nine-time Group One winner Triptych looked a big threat when setting sail for home at the two-furlong pole but was quickly put in her place.

Dancing Brave swept past with a dazzling turn of foot and powered magnificently clear for a wide-margin success.

Graham Goode referred to the race-winning move as an “electrifying burst of speed” and a similar surge earned him Arc glory later that year.

1989 Nashwan

Willie Carson had steered Dick Hern’s colt to 2,000 Guineas and Derby wins and now it was time to take on older horses.

Indian Skimmer and Warning were both multiple Group One scorers, but it was future Breeders’ Cup Mile victor Opening Verse who looked to have stolen a march on his rivals by shooting five lengths clear turning for home.

However, Carson did not panic and only had to nudge out Nashwan with hands and heels to power past and gallop clear.

Just two weeks later, he toughed it out to beat old rival Cacoethes in the King George and is the only horse to have cleaned up all four of those prizes in quick succession.

2009 Sea The Stars

John Oxx’s classy colt emulated Nashwan’s Guineas-Derby-Eclipse hat-trick by showing the heart of a champion in the latter stages of a fascinating renewal.

A trio of pacemakers set a terrific gallop but Mick Kinane was able to unleash Sea The Stars two furlongs out.

Rip Van Winkle came out of the pack to test the favourite, but he simply put his head down and ground out a game success, with 2008 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Conduit five lengths behind in third.

More Group One glory followed in the Juddmonte International, the Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc during a quite remarkable campaign.

2019 Enable

John Gosden’s wonder mare made it look easy as she tracked Hunting Horn into the home straight before upping the tempo and taking control of proceedings.

Magical made a race of it but Frankie Dettori was never in trouble and later beamed: “She’s got so many gears and the unbelievable will to win. She’s got everything.”

Enable had already landed the English and Irish Oaks and was a dual Arc winner at this point, plus she went on to make it a trio of King George triumphs, so she is an obvious pick for our best Coral-Eclipse winners.

“Her longevity has been incredible,” added Dettori at Sandown. “I never stop getting excited when I ride her in the morning. She’s very special. I really love her.”

Coral-Eclipse winners

Every winner of the race since Coral’s sponsorship began in 1976:

2022 – Vadeni

2021 – St Mark’s Basilica

2020 – Ghaiyyath

2019 – Enable

2018 – Roaring Lion

2017 – Ulysses

2016 – Hawkbill

2015 – Golden Horn

2014 – Mukhadram

2013 – Al Kazeem

2012 – Nathaniel

2011 – So You Think

2010 – Twice Over

2009 – Sea The Stars

2008 – Mount Nelson

2007 – Notnowcato

2006 – David Junior

2005 – Oratorio

2004 – Refuse To Bend

2003 – Falbrav

2002 – Hawk Wing

2001 – Medicean

2000 – Giant’s Causeway

1999 – Compton Admiral

1998 – Daylami

1997 – Pilsudski

1996 – Halling

1995 – Halling

1994 – Ezzoud

1993 – Opera House

1992 – Kooyonga

1991 – Environment Friend

1990 – Elmaamul

1989 – Nashwan

1988 – Mtoto

1987 – Mtoto

1986 – Dancing Brace

1985 – Pebbles

1984 – Sadler’s Wells

1983 – Solford

1982 – Kalaglow

1981 – Master Willie

1980 – Ela-Mana-Mou

1979 – Dickens Hill

1978 – Gunner B

1977 – Artaius

1976 – Wollow

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Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.