• Christopher Loader

Enable - Ensured or Endangered? Eclipse 2019 Preview

Updated: Jul 6, 2019

The wait is over! This weekend sees the seasonal return of the superstar filly Enable in the Group One Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. For many people this should be an easy task in her preparation towards another Arc success, but I think this might not be the walkover it appears at first sight. In this blog I will be going through some of the key trends of the race and analysing some of the key contenders, giving you my verdict for the feature race of the week.

Before getting stuck into the analysis I think it is always important to look at the previous winners of the race so we can build a picture of the profile of the horse for when it comes to looking for the winner. Horses such as Roaring Lion, Ulysses and Hawkbill have gone on to enjoy further success after winning this race. The main factor that stands out is the record of the powerhouse jockeys and trainers. However what is interesting the Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien combination who would be on most of the roll of honours for Group Ones in Britain are yet to get their name on the board in the race. They have had several short priced favourite in recent years which have been turnover. Apart from Sea The Stars and So You Think it tends to be British based runners that win this race. Three-Year-Olds in the last four renewals have one this race but the average age of the winner has been 4 in the last ten years. Also favourites have a strong record with a 60% strike rate. The main message that can be gathered from is that the winner is often a classy progressive type that often can use this race as a springboard to further success.

Eclipse 2009-2018 Roll of Honour

Enable and Magical. Enable has not been beaten since her second run at Newbury in 2017 and has enjoyed multiple Group One success in the Oaks, Arc and Breeders Cup. She is undoubtedly the Queen of flat racing in Britain and it’s a credit too Juddmonte to keep her in training. However I think she could be vulnerable this year for a variety of reasons. First of all it is her come back run of the season and I think this is a harder task than her reappearance last year when she won the four runner Group 3 September Stakes at Kempton beating Crystal Ocean. Moreover even though she had a setback last year, she didn’t appear to have the X-Factor like she did as a three-year-old nor did she receive the three-year-old allowance which was a massive advantage to her in 2017. Running over 1M 2F also raises questions as well because she was beaten over this trip on her only attempt at Newbury. For all these reasons she has to be taken on at Even Money.

The other filly on the card tomorrow is Aidan O’Brien’s, Magical who is closely matched with Enable on their clash in last year’s Breeders Cup where she put up a career best performance. This season she had some easy assignments in Ireland but then bumped into Crystal Ocean in the Princes of Wales at Royal Ascot. Even though that is probably one of the best pieces of form going into the race, I just wonder if this might be a quick reappearance on what was tough conditions. Furthermore Ryan Moore & Aidan O’Brien’s recent record in this race is not the strongest and I think she can be opposed.  

This race has a healthy record for three-year-olds but only one has made the final declarations and that is Dante winner Telecaster. Hughie Morrison’s colt was well fancied by many to win the Derby but ultimately disappointed and the turnaround probably came around too quickly. I think he is an interesting contender on his earlier form but the Derby can often leave a hard mark on horses and despite getting the weight allowances he doesn’t make my shortlist.

Sir Michael Stoute has an excellent record in this race as is the joint most winning trainer with six victories to his name. Mustashry who won the Lockinge at Newbury in impressive style but then didn’t live up to expectations in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, is put out again quickly for the maestro trainer. The trip isn’t a concern for him as he won over the Course and Distance last year but I just wonder like Magical if he would benefit for a break with maybe a race like the Juddmonte at York being his target. The other Stoute runner, Regal Reality is the one that takes my eye who won a Group Three over the Course and Distance in May and the work has been boosted by the second and third. The track and the ground should pose no problem and he looks the typical Sir Michael Stoute improver being a lightly raced four-year-old. He does have to step up on official ratings but he comes in fresher and has most likely been targeted for the race. He has to make my shortlist.

Of the outsiders, David Menuisier has an interesting runner with Dancetaria. He might have it all to do to prove that he is of Group One class but he finished third In the Group Three won by Regal Reality. He then went to France and won a Group 3 coming strong from off the pace. He is also a previous course winner which is a plus and David Menuisier has a 23% strike at Sandown from his small strong team. In comments to the press Menuisier admits his runner is an outsider but he says that this has been the target by connections and the race has come in at a perfect time for him. Zabeel Prince for Roger Varian is a miler for me and wont appreciate the trip. Hunting Horn can’t be totally discounted and is a class act on his day but he is yet to prove his Group One qualities and likely to be a pace maker for stable Magical.

Eclipse 2019 Betting

When it comes to my conclusion I think that Enable has to be taken on and even though she is likely to be on the premises I think this would be a very good training performance by John Gosden to have her spot on to beat a respectable field first time out.  My two selections against the field would be Regal Reality, who has to be the most solid EW contender in the race and Dancetaria who should be doing his best work late on and he might sneak a place.

Eclipse 2019 Prediction

1. Regal Reality

2. Enable

3. Dancetaria

Recommended Bets

· Regal Reality 7-1 (Betfair, Paddy Power, Bet Victor) 1pt EW

· Dancetaria 50-1 (Skybet, William Hill, Bet 365) 1pt EW

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