Sandown park

The 4,000 spectators at Sandown Park weren’t short-changed

When only four horses were declared to contest this year’s Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park, there were the usual mutters. Since owners and trainers are always complaining (with justice) about the low levels of prize money in British racing, why weren’t more of them sending their charges to compete for the £640,000 on offer? Brought up within walking distance of the Esher track (and yes, there were occasions when, having blown my stake money and then some, I did have to walk home), I have always been fascinated by the Eclipse, the year’s first contest between the three-year-olds and their elders. I will never forget Triple Crown winner Nashwan’s