Was the Coral-Eclipse named after a horse?
The race commonly known as the Coral-Eclipse is a Group One 1 contest open to horses aged three years and upwards and run over a mile and a quarter at Sandown Park in July each year. Since 1976, the race has been sponsored by bookmaker Coral, nowadays owned by Entain plc, formerly GVC Holdings, and is often referred to by its sponsored title.
However, the history of the race dates back to 1886, when it was inaugurated, as the Eclipse Stakes, under the auspices of British banker and thoroughbred racehorse breeder Leopold de Rothschild. Indeed, at the time of its inauguration, the Eclipse Stakes was worth 10,000 sovereigns to the winner, making it the most valuable race ever run in Britain.
The Eclipse Stakes is, indeed, named after a horse. Between May, 1769 and October, 1770, Eclipse won all ten races in which he actually competed, all bar one at odds-on, and another eight by walkover, such that he retired from racing officially unbeaten in 18 starts. Fittingly, the Eclipse Stakes has always attracted horses of the highest calibre; its roll of honour includes such luminaries of the sport as Mill Reef, Brigadier Gerard, Dancing Brave, Sea The Stars and Enable, to name but a handful.