Front Cover
Overlook Press, Mar 29, 2012 - Sports & Recreation - 352 pages

May 3, 1769, Epsom Downs. A chestnut brown thoroughbred with a white blaze is scorching across the turf towards the finishing post. His four rivals are so far behind him that, in racing terms, they are "nowhere."

Watching Eclipse is the man who wants to buy him. An adventurer and rogue who has made his money through gambling, Dennis O'Kelly is also a known companion to the madam of a notorious London brothel. Under O'Kelly's management, Eclipse would go on a winning streak unparalleled for the next two centuries.

As journalist Nicholas Clee explores in this captivating romp, while O'Kelly was destined to remain an outcast to the racing establishment, his horse would go on to become the undisputed, undefeated champion of the sport. Not only a consummate winner, Eclipse exemplified the perfect thoroughbred -- a status he retains even today. Eclipse's male-line descendants include Secretariat, Barbaro, and all but three of the Kentucky Derby winners of the past fifty years.

What people are saying - Write a review

Eclipse: The Horse That Changed Racing History Forever

User Review  - Book Verdict

This is a highly entertaining account of one of the most famous racehorses in history. Eclipse (1764–89) was a legend in his time and, astonishingly, became the progenitor of all but three of the 50 ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2012)

Nicholas Clee is a journalist and racing enthusiast. He is also the author of a cookbook, Don't Sweat the Aubergine. He writes a weekly column in the Times and reviews in the Times Literary Supplement.

Bibliographic information