History on the cards as Masar bids for Derby and Coral-Eclipse double
Nick Murphy | 4 July 2018
Will he join Nashwan, Sea The Stars and Golden Horn?
The Coral-Eclipse has had some big-name winners down the years. Super sire Sadler’s Wells, two-time victor Halling and Dancing Brave have all triumphed over the 1m 1f distance since 1971.
But only three horses have managed to complete the Eclipse-Epsom Derby double in the same 12 months over the last 45 years. Nashwan was the first in 1989, with Sea The Stars making it two in 2009. Golden Horn won it alongside the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2015.
Masar could be set to join that illustrious trio on Saturday. The Goldophin charge is 9/4 to triumph at Sandown. You can read our horse-by-horse rundown of the 2018 edition here. But here we look back at the three legends that have gone before whom Masar is bidding to join.
The summer of 1989 was one to remember for Nashwan and trainer Major Dick Hern. After going unbeaten as a two-year-old, the American-bred colt returned to the track as a three-year-old by landing the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
He followed that up with an extraordinary success in the Epsom Derby to become just the sixth horse since 1925 to win the renewal by 5l or more. Just over a month later, history was made at Sandown for the very first time since Mill Reef in 1971.
Nashwan replicated his Derby triumph by bolting up over 1m 2f to land the Derby-Eclipse double ahead of 200/1 shot Opening Verse. A neck victory in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes followed before his unbeaten record was put to the sword in the Prix Niel at Longchamp by Golden Pheasant.
Never the less, the Hamdam Al Maktoum-owned horse will always have his place in the record books.
Sea The Stars (2009)
Not all great careers begin with a flourishing debut win. Sea The Stars could only finish fourth in a Curragh maiden on his first start. Two subsequent successes as a two-year-old, including the Group 2 Beresford Stakes, served to highlight his immense promise.
As a three-year-old that promise was fulfilled – and in some style. The John Oxx-trained charge began by turning over 3/1 favourite Delegate to land the 2,000 Guineas. That was swiftly followed up by a 1¾l success over Aidan O’Brien pair Fame And Glory and Rip Van Winkle in the Derby.
The latter of O’Brien’s duo renewed rivalries with Sea The Stars in the Coral-Eclipse a month later but was once again left chewing dust. The Irish-bred raider repelled the advances of his foe late on to land the Sandown renewal and achieve the Eclipse-Derby double.
Victories in the Juddmonte International, Irish Champions Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe would later secure the half-brother to Galileo’s place in history.
Golden Horn (2015)
You wait 21 years for the double and then two come along in seven years. Like Sea The Stars and Nashwan, Golden Horn excelled as a three-year-old.
He kicked things off with back-to-back successes in the Feilden Stakes and Dante Stakes at York. That set up a crack at the Epsom Derby where he edged rival Jack Hobbs by a comfortable 3½l, despite drifting left in the closing stages.
The mount of Frankie Dettori then made mincemeat of a five-runner Coral-Eclipse before being stung by Arabian Queen in the Juddmonte. Two more wins followed in the Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc before a final race defeat to future Arc winner Found in the Breeders’ Cup brought the career of John Gosden’s star to a close. His first yearlings will be conceived later this year.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing