2019 Coral-Eclipse preview: Enable can’t be opposed on return in Sandown summer feature

Published on: July 4, 2019
Author: Jamie Clark
2019 Coral-Eclipse preview features Enable

Enable makes her hotly anticipated return to action in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday (15:35).

John Gosden’s five-year-old wonder mare takes a drop in trip to 1m 2f at the Esher venue, but is widely fancied for an eighth Group 1 success.

This Prince Khalid Abdullah owned daughter of Nathaniel bids to emulate her sire by landing the Eclipse.

Enable goes well fresh following a break as she proved last season after 342 days on the sidelines with setbacks. She accounted for subsequent Group 1 winner Crystal Ocean when eased close home on the all-weather at Kempton.

As regular jockey Frankie Dettori could afford to do that, Enable was value for more than the 3 1/2 lengths winning margin.

Gosden then sought to make history with her by winning back-to-back renewals of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Enable stayed on strongly for a 2 1/2 lengths victory in 2017 when run at Chantilly. France’s most famous race returned to its real home at Longchamp in Paris last autumn.

Although defending champ Enable looked to be weakening under a ton of pressure close home, she just held on and retained her title from the fast-finishing Sea Of Class in a photo.

As Group 1 races go, this is far easier and she also rounded off a shortened campaign with transatlantic success in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Enable now meets the runner-up Magical, who she held by three-quarters of a length at Churchill Downs, on 4lb better terms.

Top rated in Coral-Eclipse on official figures

There is no reason why she won’t confirm the form, which has a solid look to it as the front two pulled a further nine lengths clear.

As Enable is on a run of nine consecutive victories – including seven at the highest level – she looks impossible to oppose here.

Her official BHA mark of 125 gives her 2lb and upwards in hand on the field. Couple that with the 3lb sex allowance she gets from the boys, and Enable is only giving weight to one of her seven rivals.

Epsom Derby flop Telecaster only receives 5lb from her, however, and that leaves as much again for him to find on official figures.

Enable also hails from a stable still in fine form and handler Gosden has won three of the last seven Coral-Eclipse renewals.

With Dettori operating a 32 per cent strike rate in the saddle during the last 14 days at the time of writing, there is simply no looking past his mount here.

Enable, whose big race wins also include the King George at Ascot, and the Epsom, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks, sets a clear standard.

On all known form, and with the drop back in trip holding no fears based on the way she shaped at the end of last season over further, she is a worthy favourite.

As Enable has won top races on going as varied as good-to-firm and soft, the quick ground shouldn’t inconvenience her. Odds of 10/11 with the race sponsors say she can make a winning return.

Magical feared most

Aidan O’Brien has won the Coral-Eclipse five times in his illustrious training career and is one of two handlers doubly represented in this year’s renewal.

Of the Ballydoyle pair, clear preference is for Magical who has won three of her four starts this season.

That hat-trick of victories include a second Group 1 success over this trip in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Magical is clearly the best horse in this division in the Emerald Isle after beating last year’s Irish St Leger winner Flag Of Honour on all three occasions.

This four-year-old daughter of Galileo is also effective over further as demonstrated when scoring by a cosy length from Coronet in the 1m 4f fillies and mares’ Group 1 race on British Champions Day at Ascot last October.

The runner-up has recently advertised that form by winning the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud over in France.

Magical was far from disgraced herself last time out when held 1 1/4 lengths by the aforementioned Crystal Ocean in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

As noted above, she now meets Enable off 4lb worse terms than at the Breeders’ Cup. There is less than that between the two on official figures, however, with their ratings 2lb apart.

Magical in turn has 3lbs and upwards in hand on the remainder when adjusting BHA marks to consider weight-for-age and sex allowances.

That suggests this race-fit Irish raider can again push old rival Enable close, but may ultimately just come up short.

At a price of 4/1 with 888Sport, Magical looks a solid forecast choice also getting weight from the boys. She has plenty more going for her than stable companion Hunting Horn at any rate.

Regal Reality preferred to Mustashry of Stoute duo

Nobody has trained more Coral-Eclipse winners than Sir Michael Stoute. His six Sandown successes include the great Medicean, and he’s also got two irons in the fire this year.

Regal Reality ran out an impressive winner of the Brigadier Gerard Stakes over course and distance when last in action. He is 13/2 with William Hill on the upgrade.

Although stable companion Mustashry is a Group 1 winner and available at more than twice the price, it’s Regal Reality who looks a solid each-way alternative to the top two in the betting.

That’s because the four-year-old is a typical Stoute inmate that gets better with age. He is lightly-raced and this has been the obvious target since running on well to land the Brigadier Gerard by 3 3/4 lengths back in May.

Regal Reality doesn’t know how to run a bad race and is open to more progress than Mustashry. If there is one concern, then it was his fractious nature in the preliminaries last time out.

Mustashry also represents Newmarket handler Stoute, but the last six-year-old to win the Coral-Eclipse came way back in 1886.

Although the Hamdam Al Maktoum owned gelding enjoyed his finest hour when landing the Lockinge at Newbury on his penultimate start, that form was completely reversed at Royal Ascot.

Like Regal Reality though, Mustashry is a course and distance winner having landed a Listed contest at this meeting 12 months ago.

This demands plenty more and his failure to back-up the Lockinge result explains why he’s 14/1 with Betway here.

Telecaster looking to bounce back in Coral-Eclipse

Dante Stakes hero Telecaster gets weight all-round in the Coral-Eclipse as a three-year-old, but punters have to be willing to forgive his dismal display in The Derby at Epsom.

Hughie Morrison’s stable star has had just four career starts, chasing home King Edward VII Stakes runner-up Bangkok on debut at Doncaster.

Telecaster then bolted up by nine lengths in a Windsor maiden over this trip and headed straight to York for the Dante.

That is usually a great Derby trial but this year’s form is open to question. Japan, who was later so impressive when beating Bangkok at Royal Ascot, only ran fourth under tender handling.

Telecaster lowered the colours of last season’s champion juvenile colt Too Darn Hot when outstaying him close home ans scoring by a length.

The runner-up has since finished second in the Irish 1000 Guineas and third in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

Something clearly wasn’t right at Epsom as Telecaster took a keen hold in the premier Classic and then faded completely after two out.

While regular rider Oisin Murphy eased him when all chance went, he may simply not have handled the tight, undulating track at Epsom.

Sandown suits galloping and offers a very different test. If putting a line through his Derby effort, then Telecaster is open to the most progress of the eight-runner Coral-Eclipse field.

That makes the 14/1 about him with Unibet well worth considering each-way now dropped back in trip.