THE Group 1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown is one of the major races on the flat calendar in the UK and this year’s renewal has attracted some strong entries from both sides of the Irish Sea.
Run over one mile two furlongs, the majority of the leading middle-distance horses tend to line up at the Esher-based course. It is often also the first chance for the leading three-year-olds who have been successful in the Classics to take on the older generation.
Mishriff looks to continue impressive year
It has already been an incredible year for Mishriff as he has won two of the most lucrative races in the sport, the Saudi Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic.
John and Thady Gosden’s colt prevailed ahead of Charlatan on the dirt at Riyadh in February in a content over one mile one furlong. He then showed his versatility by stepping up to one mile four furlongs to land one of the feature races on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan. The bookmakers make Mishriff the early favourite for the race at Sandown. He has been successful twice in the UK so far in his career. No wonder Stephen Harris strongly advised to follow this impressive runner during the season in his free horse racing tips provided through Beth prediction tool’s website.
Lord North out for more Group 1 success
Two-time Group 1 winner Lord North will be joining his stablemate Mishriff in the Eclipse Stakes. He has appeared only once so far in 2021 and that was in the Dubai Turf, a race he won in impressive style.
Gosden’s gelding was one of the leading horses in his division last year in the UK. The highlight of the campaign was his victory in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. He beat a strong field at the Royal meeting which included Addeybb and Japan. Lord North does have an entry in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes again where he will be bidding to win the race again. He is then expected to appear a month later at Sandown in what will be his second appearance at the racecourse.
Love set for challenge against older horses
Aidan O’Brien is likely to be represented in the Eclipse by last year’s Dual Classic winner Love. The filly had an excellent campaign in 2020, winning three Group 1 races. The Daughter of Galileo has been off the track since she won the Yorkshire Oaks at York last August. She is expected to appear in the Coronation Cup at Epsom. She also has entries in the Queen Anne Stakes and Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
It is going to be a big year for the four-year-old as she will be testing herself against the older horses in her division. If everything goes to plan for her this season, she is likely to have her first shot at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October.
This year’s Eclipse Stakes takes places on the July 3rd and will be the feature race at Sandown’s Summer Festival.