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Eclipse Stakes: Date, venue, runners, history & more

The Eclipse Stakes, which takes place at Sandown, is a hugely important Group 1 race in the Flat calendar as it is the first major opportunity for the Classic generation to take on the top-quality older horses.

Some of the best three-year-old colts in Britain and Ireland receive 10lb from their elder rivals and it is fascinating to see which form is stronger and whether this is enough weight to help the younger runners prevail each year.

Eclipse Stakes date

The Eclipse Stakes will be staged on Saturday 6th July at 15:35 (BST) and the Group 1 is the highlight among seven races on what should be a great day's worth of action at Sandown.

Eclipse Stakes venue

The Eclipse will be staged at Sandown Park racecourse, which is around a 30-minute journey from London Waterloo train station.

Sandown has staged racing since 1875 and also hosts various other shows and events, including wedding fairs, car shows, auctions and music concerts.

Eclipse Stakes TV channel and how to watch

The Eclipse Stakes can be watched on the bet365 live sports streaming service.

The Eclipse will also be the focal point of ITV Racing’s coverage on the day, while it will be broadcast live on Racing TV.

Eclipse Stakes expected runners

City Of Troy is among the favourites for the Eclipse after trainer Aidan O’Brien outlined that Sandown would be the Derby winner’s next target.

The Irish Derby had been an option, but the son of Justify will instead take on older horses as owners Coolmoore bid to get a British Group 1 victory over ten furlongs in the book to help City Of Troy’s stallion profile.

Last year’s champion juvenile disappointed on his reappearance in the 2,000 Guineas, but bounced back emphatically at Epsom and could take on the likes of Passenger as he drops back two furlongs in trip.

Passenger was forced to miss the Prince of Wales’s Stakes due to an infection, but the form of his Group 2 Huxley Stakes success over Israr was boosted at Royal Ascot when Israr went one better in the Listed Wolferton Stakes.

White Birch is another contender who missed the royal meeting but whose form was franked when Auguste Rodin, who he beat by three lengths in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, won the Prince of Wales’s.

Alflaila was fourth in that Group 1 behind Auguste Rodin in that Group 1 and could turn up here along with Derby sixth Dancing Gemini.

Eclipse Stakes history

The Eclipse was first run in 1886 and at the time was Britain’s richest-ever race with £10,000 of prize-money put up by banker and breeder Leopold de Rothschild at the request of Sandown Park’s co-founder - General Owen Williams.

The race is named after a prolific 18th-century racehorse who won all 18 of his starts and went on to sire three Derby winners.

Eclipse Stakes most successful trainer

No trainer has won the Eclipse more than Aidan O’Brien, who saddled the first of his seven victories in the race in 2000 with Giant’s Causeway.

O’Brien has been responsible for two of the last three winners of the Eclipse with St Mark’s Basilica successful as a three-year-old in 2021 and Paddington emulating that feat last year.

Eclipse Stakes most successful jockey

Legendary rider Lester Piggott is the most successful jockey in the race’s history with 26 years separating his first Eclipse win on Mystery in 1951 and his seventh and final success on Artaius in 1977.

Ryan Moore and William Buick are the most successful jockeys still riding in Britain in the race’s history with three victories apiece.

Eclipse Stakes famous winners

The Eclipse was part of Mill Reef’s famous three-year-old season in 1971 when he also won the Derby, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

A year later, Brigadier Gerard won the race as a four-year-old, one of 17 wins in 18 starts - a career which led to a Group 3 at Sandown being named in his honour.

In 1986, 2,000 Guineas hero Dancing Brave emulated Mill Reef by winning the Derby, Eclipse, King George and Arc.

Sea The Stars (2009) and Golden Horn (2015) are other more recent winners of the Eclipse who won the Derby and Arc in the same year, while Enable made a successful seasonal debut in the 2019 Eclipse prior to being denied by Waldgeist in her Arc hat-trick bid at Longchamp that October.

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