The Coral-Eclipse 2012
“You’ve gotta have heart
All you really need is heart
When the odds are sayin’ you’ll never win
That’s when the grin should start”
The Jason Mraz lyrics from the musical Damn Yankees could well have been written for Nathaniel. For, after leading all the way up the Sandown straight, his two-length advantage, suddenly swallowed up by the oncoming Farhh and Frankie Dettori, brought about an heroic show of courage, to go again, and win the Eclipse by half a length.
David Walsh, writing in The Sunday Times the following day, also waxed lyrical over Nathaniel – “Trainers like their charges to have speed but they love them to have heart.”
This was the fourth victory from eight starts for Nathaniel, who, although having previously won the King Edward VII Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, had the disadvantage of going to Sandown without a prep-race.
William Buick, who has ridden him in all his starts, is to me, rapidly becoming the best jockey seen in Britain since Steve Cauthen.
But what of the also ran’s – Godolphin’s Pivotal colt, Farhh, ran his best race and was given every chance with a superb ride from Frankie, only to be outgunned by the winner. Twice Over, a 7-y-o, who won this race in 2010 and also took last year’s International at York, ran a commendable, but distant third.
Coral-Eclipse Day had a very strong supporting card; the Gosden/Buick team also winning the Coral Challenge with the heavily backed Trade Commissioner and, Frankie Dettori completing a double with Falls of Lora in the Coral Distaff and the classy Cavalryman in the Coral Marathon.
It was a day that the punters and the sponsor could be pleased with.
I have set out below the full result of the 2012 Coral-Eclipse and the notable progeny of
Galileo, in the style of my book, Eclipse – The Horse – The Race – The Awards