SANDOWN is the stage for the clash of the generations tomorrow afternoon when the three-year-old Classic horses take on their elders for the first time in the Coral-Eclipse (3.35pm).
This historic event, which was established in 1886, is the longest running Group race sponsorship in the world after Coral first put their name to it in 1976.
And the sponsors have been rewarded with the superstar mare ENABLE making her seasonal reappearance tomorrow as she bids to become only the third filly or mare to win the race.
John Gosden’s daughter of Nathaniel has won 10 of her 11 career starts, but this will be her first attempt over 1m2f since tasting that one and only defeat at Newbury in April 2017.
Despite having an interrupted preparation last season, Enable was still able to win her second Arc when not 100 per cent and then go on to take the Breeders’ Cup Turf less than a month later.
She is a brilliant mare and will rewrite the history books if she can become the first horse to bag three Arcs in October.
Gosden has gone on record as saying all roads lead to Longchamp but once again she hasn’t had the ideal preparation this term.
Her original planned reappearance was meant to be the Coronation Cup at Epsom before that was abandoned and then the same happened with the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Her trainer can be trusted to know when she is right to go and he must be pleased with what he has seen at home.
However, at 10/11 with the sponsors, over a trip shorter than her best and on ground quicker than she has faced, the percentage call has to be to oppose her.
It’s looking like a case of girl power in this year’s Eclipse, as her main danger is undoubtedly MAGICAL.
Aidan O’Brien’s daughter of Galileo was beaten narrowly by Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November and she seems better than ever this season.
She blasted out of the blocks with a Group Three win at Naas in April, before registering Group Two and Group One successes at the Curragh in May.
Sent off favourite for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes last month, she could only finish second to Crystal Ocean, but that was on very soft ground which wouldn’t have played to her strengths.
She is a top class filly who comes into this race as fit as a fiddle and Enable will have to be at the top of her game to see her off again.
Magical, who would be giving O’Brien a record-equalling sixth win in the race, is available at 7/2 in a few places and that looks the best value in the race.
Sir Michael Stoute is the current joint record holder with six wins and he has two chances tomorrow with Regal Reality and Mustashry.
The former won the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes over course and distance last time which was a career best.
He is improving, but will need to step up again to see off the two classy mares.
Mustashry landed the Group One Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on his reappearance and he didn’t run too badly in the Queen Anne a few weeks ago.
The worry with him is whether he will have quite the same stamina reserves as some of his rivals in the closing stages.
Three of the last four winners have been three-year-olds and TELECASTER is flying the flag for the Classic generation this year.
The form of his win in the Dante Stakes at York has been franked by Too Darn Hot and Japan a few times since.
Admittedly, he was desperately disappointing in the Investec Derby, but nothing went right that day and it may have come too soon after York.
If he can bounce back to his York form, he definitely shouldn’t be a 16/1 shot.
BILL ESDAILE’S CORAL-ECLIPSE 1-2-3