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Coral Eclipse Runners & Riders  

The 2024 Coral Eclipse Stakes is set to be run on Saturday, 6th July, boasting an unquestionably strong field as ever. As the earliest Group 1 to allow three-year-olds to compete against their elders, it can be an excellent testing ground for those with ambitions of further top level success later in the year or throughout their careers.

Below are the runners and riders for the big race at Sandown:

Runners and Riders table to follow

Who are the Top Three Favourites to Win this Year’s Eclipse?

Among the numerous Coral Eclipse runners and riders in 2024, there are already three horses sticking out towards the top of the market, whose chances have only been amplified by what they have achieved so far during the flat season. They represent different generations and connections, which should build to an exciting crescendo at Sandown.

City Of Troy

The story of the 2024 flat season always looked likely to revolve around the exploits of City Of Troy. Having set the world alight during his debut season at two, eyebrows were raised in shock as he underwhelmed in the 2,000 Guineas.

However, that was not the first time that his trainer Aidan O’Brien had a promising horse disappoint in that race, and the son of Justify silenced any doubts as to whether he was the real deal when storming home in the Derby to gain substantial compensation for Newmarket.

That was over 1m4f, but his turn of foot down the Epsom straight suggested he would have no issue dropping back in trip to 1m2f. His trainer has nominated this contest as his next start, so it will be hugely exciting to see how he fares. 

Passenger

A quiet improver of a mould Sir Michael Stoute has worked with so well so many times before, Passenger has run exactly the same number of races as City Of Troy, but is a year older. He will therefore concede 10lb to his younger rival, but he is stepping up at a rate of knots.

Three wins have arrived in five starts, and though the Dante and the Derby came too soon for him as a three-year-old, he has since won twice at Group level, reappearing with a taking victory at Chester’s May meeting.

Any further improvement from that win would suggest he is a Group 1 winner in waiting. City Of Troy looks a formidable adversary, but he may well be up to the task.

White Birch

Similar to Passenger as a horse who looks a more sparkling model at four, White Birch has won all three of his races in 2024. He was on the border of Group 1 level at three, finishing third in the Derby at Epsom, as well as runner-up in the Dante, beating Passenger on both occasions.

His form tailed off in the Irish Derby, and in Group company, for the rest of the year, but he has stepped through the ranks throughout this season, first winning at Group 3, then Group 2, then Group 1 level in three starts. The last of those was a storming success in the Tattersalls Gold Cup over his Derby conqueror Auguste Rodin and he is another likely to make his presence felt.

Eclipse Horse Entries & Selections

The Eclipse is one of the most open races in terms of qualification and criteria. It is the first Group 1 race in which both older horses and the Classic generation can compete, with any horse aged three or upwards eligible to run in the race.

It boasts a maximum field of just 17, but rarely gets anywhere near that number, coming in between the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, in which those four years old and upward do not have to concede weight for age penalties to the three-year-olds who are ineligible, and the King George, the more decorated prize over 1m4f.

However, it is still a top class race with significant history and pedigree. Andrew Mount and Matty Sutcliffe will no doubt have their opinions on the contest as it approaches in July.

Which Trainers Have Historically Had the Most Success in the Eclipse?

Aidan O’Brien will be looking for a record extending eighth victory in the Eclipse if City Of Troy goes to post. He has won two of the last three runnings courtesy of St Mark’s Basilica and Paddington, though his first success was arguably the most thrilling back in 2000, when Giant’s Causeway was victorious.

However, O’Brien is only one win ahead of Sir Michael Stoute, who could equal the record courtesy of Passenger, only adding further intrigue to the 2024 Eclipse. Stoute’s most recent win was in 2017 with Ulysses, a similar type to Passenger who ran in the same owner’s colours, while his first victory in the race was back in 1993 with Opera House.

Eclipse Stakes Runners & Riders Past Winners

YearHorseTrainerJockeyOdds
2014MukhadramWilliam HaggasPaul Hanagan14/1
2015Golden HornJohn GosdenFrankie Dettori4/9F
2016HawkbillCharlie ApplebyWilliam Buick6/1
2017UlyssesSir Michael StouteJim Crowley8/1
2018Roaring LionJohn GosdenOisin Murphy7/4F
2019EnableJohn GosdenFrankie Dettori4/6F
2020GhaiyyathCharlie ApplebyWilliam Buick9/4
2021St Mark’s BasilicaAidan O’BrienRyan MooreEvsF
2022VadeniJean-Claude RougetChristophe Soumillon11/4
2023PaddingtonAidan O’BrienRyan Moore8/11F