SANDOWN // Sea The Stars once again proved his quality with a thrilling victory in the Coral-Eclipse yesterday. The 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby winner became the first horse since Nashwan 20 years ago to win all three races as he saw off the determined challenge of Rip Van Winkle. The John Oxx-trained colt has now won three Group One races over different distances and saw the 10-furlong race out well after Aidan O'Brien's charge came out of the pack to threaten an upset a furlong out.
Johnny Murtagh tracked his old adversary in the straight as the pacemakers came back to the field, with Michael Kinane on the favourite, the first to kick on. The Galileo colt went two lengths clear but had not shaken off Guineas and Derby fourth Rip Van Winkle, while Conduit was produced with a perfectly timed run after being held up by Ryan Moore. But the three-year-old duo quickened again a furlong out and had the finish between them, and Sea The Stars kept lengthening under Kinane, 50, to hold a length advantage at the line.
The pair surged four-and-a-half lengths clear of last year's St Leger winner Conduit, who held off Cima De Triomphe for third place. "He has so much early pace it's unbelievable," Kinane said. Meanwhile, Ialysos continued to be one of the most exciting talents of the season so far as he collected victory in the Coral Charge. The Greek Freak, as he is known, had only one defeat to his name when not running up to scratch in the Golden Jubilee Stakes and trainer Luca Cumani dropped him in class for this Group Three event.