Eclipse (horse)

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For the American thoroughbred racehorse born 1814 see American Eclipse.

Eclipse (1 April 1764 – 26 February 1789) was an outstanding, undefeated 18th-century British Thoroughbred racehorse who was later a phenomenal success as a sire.


He was foaled during and named after the solar eclipse of 1 April 1764, at the Cranbourne Lodge Stud of his breeder, Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. It was at this stud that his sire, the Jockey Club Plate winner, Marske (by Squirt from The Ruby Mare) stood, his dam, Spiletta (foaled 1749) was by Regulus, by the Godolphin Arabian. Eclipse was a brother to the successful broodmare, Proserpine. They were inbred to Snake in the fourth generation (4m x 4f) of their pedigree. After the death of Prince William in 1765, Eclipse was sold for 75 guineas to a sheep dealer from Smithfield, William Wildman.

Racing record

Eclipse started racing at the age of five on 3 May 1769 in Epsom. After his second victory in a race in May 1769 the Irish adventurer Colonel Dennis O'Kelly purchased Eclipse in two parts (50 percent in June 1769 for 650 guineas, 50 percent in April 1770 for 1,100 guineas). Supposedly, at this time Captain Denis O'Kelly used the famous phrase "Eclipse first and the rest nowhere," before making his bets for this race. At that...
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