Coral Eclipse Preview

Coral – Eclipse 2018
2:10 Sandown Saturday 7th July

A fascinating race which was won by Ulysses last season but this season the race looks hotter than last year and in actual fact, the best looking Eclipse I have seen for a long time.

You have the Derby 1st, 3rd and 4th lining up here. You also have a previous winner of the race, last years favourite, a 4 year old improving fast and a very good filly who gets weight from the field.

Races don’t come much better than this and of the Aiden O’Brien has 3 runners.

Lets go through each horse one by one starting with the red hot favourite:

(All prices are at the time of writing 6th July 11am)

MASAR – Best Price 13/8
Trainer – Charlie Appleby
Career Form – 13136-0131

The 13/8 favourite and rightly so. What a season this horse has had and it all started with a 9 length win in the Craven Stakes, back in April. MASAR then went and finished a very good 3rd in the 2000 guineas finishing behind Saxon Warrior. On his last start he won the Epsom Derby in great fashion by 1 1/2 lengths. The step up to 1m 4f brought out massive improvement on his last start when a lot of people questioned whether he would stay the Derby Trip. He did more than stay as he won going away in the end. MASAR has lots of pace that it could easily be that 1m 2f is his ideal trip. He missed Royal Ascot for this race and is sure to have found improvement. He has winning form around Sandown which is a huge plus and the only real negative I can find is he has finished behind Happily and Saxon Warrior on earlier career starts albeit he is a much better horse from when they met.

ROARING LION – Best Price 10/3
Trainer – John Gosden
Career Form – 1112-3513

ROARING LION first start of the season was in the Craven Stakes when 3rd behind Masar after being sent off 8/13 fav. He was half the horse we had seen from the previous season when finishing 2nd in the Racing Post Trophy that something was surely a miss. He then finished a creditable 5th in the 2000 guineas. He had his first start beyond 1 mile in the York Dante when he won by 4 1/2 lengths in impressive fashion and that was the horse we new from the previous season. He was then stepped up in trip to 1m 4f for the Derby and finished an excellent 3rd. He looked like he didn’t quite get the trip in the Derby and breeding suggests that may have been the case. This drop back down in trip to 1m 2f is going to ideal and another horse who missed Royal Ascot to be tuned to the minute for this race. The only negatives I can find are he has finished behind Masar 3 times from 3 runs (none over todays trip) and finished behind Saxon Warrior twice ( beaten him once but again not met over todays trip).

SAXON WARRIOR – Best Price 7/2
Trainer – Aiden O’Brien
Career Form – 111-143

The 2000 guineas winner who was supposed to be the next coming in the Derby but flopped when sent off 4/5. He then went and flopped in the Irish Derby just last week. He was unbeaten over 1 mile and his problems have only come over 1m 4f. It is clear he is not the same horse over that trip and this drop back to 1m 2f could be his perfect trip. On his day he looks an amazing horse and he showed this when winning the Racing Post Trophy last season followed by the 2000 guineas on his first start this season. Donnacha O’Brien is back riding the horse and he was on him when he won the 2000 guineas taking over from Ryan Moore. Negatives for me are he doesn’t seemed to have trained on and maybe other 3 year olds have now caught him up. I also believe this is an after thought after flopping last weekend.

HAPPILY – Best Price 8/1
Trainer – Aiden O’Brien
Career Form – 10-334

Her season got off in the 1000 guineas with a 3rd behind Billesdon Brook. This was followed up by another 3rd in the Irish 1000 guineas behind Alpha Centauri who was very impressive at Royal Ascot. HAPPILY latest run was a decent 4th to Laurens in a Group 1 at Chantilly, beaten 1/2 length. On the whole the form is pretty solid and she does get at least 3lb from the field. Negatives are I think she is a better horse on softer ground just judging by her form.

FOREST RANGER – Best Price 16/1
Trainer – Richard Fahey
Career Form – 328-11

A much improved horse this season who has won his last 2 races which we Group 2 and Group 3 races. Clearly trained with this race in mind as he has not been seen since the start of May. Will need to improve again though as I can’t see how he can 8lb away to the market leaders.


HAWKBILL was the winner of this race in 2016 but it was on soft ground. He also looked good at Meydan in March when beating Poets Word to win the Sheema Classic by 3 lengths. Been below that form on two starts at Epsom and Ascot but I can’t help but think 33/1 is a bit of an insult.

CLIFFS OF MOHER was sent off 7/4 for this race last season when coming home 4th behind Ulysees and getting weight as a 3 year old. Finished behind Hawkbill (3rd) in the Prince Of Wales Stakes and can’t see how he wins this race. 33/1.

RAYMOND DUSK needs a massive improvement to be involved and is 100/1 for a reason.


As much as I respect Masar I still think he is beatable and I really don’t think their is much between ROARING LION, Saxon Warrior and Masar if all turn up 100%.

I have sided with ROARING LION as I was really taken with his win in the Dante over todays trip and Sandown and this trip look tailor-made for him. He was travelling better than anything in the Derby but got tired late on. You will know he will stay all the way to the line and the super fast ground will be right up his street being by Kitten’s Joy.

Masar will be hard to beat but I am sure ROARING LION will be much closer than he was in the Derby which makes the price of 10/3 compared to 13/8 look decent.

I believe this is an after thought for Saxon Warrior and although he is dangerous now back down in trip, I can’t back at 7/2 on the back of his last two starts.

The one who is interesting at a big price is HAWKBILL who won this race in 2016. He also defeated Poet’s Word just a few months ago which is rock solid form. On his last start he was 3rd to Poet’s Word and Cracksman so the form is not bad. 33/1 is overpriced.

With the above in mind I am going to have a bet on ROARING LION to win and a small E/W bet on HAWKBILL as cover.

ROARING LION 10/3 generally – 1 POINT WIN
HAWKBILL 33/1 generally – 0.25 POINTS E/W

Good Luck

JPW Racing Tipster

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