Front Cover
The 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


Also by Nicholas Clee Copyright Prologue
The Chairman
The Bawd
The Gambler
The Duke
The Meat Salesman
The Young Thoroughbred
Coup de Foudre
The 14lb Heart
The Litigant
The Decline of the Jontleman
Artists Models
Eclipses Legacy the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Eclipses Legacy the Twentieth and Twentyfirst Centuries
The Skeleton

The Rest Nowhere
1100 Eclipse
The First Lady Abbess
The Stallion
The Most Glorious Spectacle
Cross and Jostle
An Example to the Turf
Eclipses Racing Career
Eclipses Pedigree
The OKelly Family
Racing Terms Historical and Contemporary

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

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