herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

The Eclipse sheds very little light

Paul Hanagan on Mukhadram after winning the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Racecourse, Sandown. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 5, 2014. Picture: Chris Ison/PA Wire.
Paul Hanagan on Mukhadram after winning the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Racecourse, Sandown. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 5, 2014. Picture: Chris Ison/PA Wire.

SATURDAY'S Coral Eclipse had all the hallmarks of being a vintage renewal as the stage was set for the three-year-olds, including a Guineas winner and Derby runner-up, to take on the older horses.

The winner was no fluke, despite his 14/1 starting price, as Mukhadram (pictured) is a solid and consistent performer who was a somewhat unlucky runner-up in the same race 12 months ago but when excuses are being floated around for some of the market leaders you have to question how informative the race has been.

The dust has yet to settle on the Irish Derby debate and while Australia faced a small field which came under much criticism, Saturday's Eclipse proved that a larger field doesn't always provide a more enthralling contest as the hoses who raced prominent throughout all stayed there, including 100/1 shot Somewhat who was the pacemaker.

Both William Buick on the favourite The Fugue and Richard Hughes on Guineas winner Night Of Thunder attributed a shower of rain prior to the race as their downfall as they could only finish sixth and eighth respectively. The ground was still described as good to firm and firm in places which meant Kingston Hill's participation was a surprise considering he had skipped a meeting with Australia the week before.

And after finishing fourth, Frankie Dettori described the Derby runner-up as more of a mile-and-a-half horse which makes it a huge shame that connections opted against fulfilling their place in the Derby field the previous week.

vintage

We learned little about Australia in the Irish Derby and certainly didn't learn as much as we thought we would about the Classic generation in Saturday's Eclipse which was far from the vintage renewal we had hoped for.

Meanwhile, Sea The Moon is as short as 5/1 to emulate his sire Sea The Stars in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after a facile German Derby success yesterday.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News