Gleneagles’ withdrawal rains on Goodwood’s parade

Night of Thunder after a 2013 Goodwood win with Richard Hughes on board / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Night of Thunder after a 2013 Goodwood win with Richard Hughes on board / Picture by Malcolm Wells

Bosses at Goodwood have been hit by an eve-of-festival blow - Gleneagles will not take on Solow in the Sussex Stakes.

It was the Sussex showdown everyone had been looking forward to at Glorious since the respective milers won their big reaces at Royal Ascot in June.

The contest could have been the highlight of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, but Aidan O’Brien has decided the ground will not be right for his three-year-old champion following significant rainfall on the Downs.

The 2000 Guineas winner and St James’s Palace Stakes hero was supposed to test his mettle against the older generation for the first time, with Freddy Head’s Solow, a winner at both the Dubai Carnival and Royal Ascot, his main adversary.

But after Goodwood was hit by 18 millimetres of rain, the ground on the round course was described as good to soft.

Coolmore spokesman Kevin Buckley said: “Gleneagles is 100 per cent, but he hasn’t been declared due to the present going at Goodwood.”

As a result, Solow is now an odds-on favourite – most bookies make him around 4/6.

Richard Hannon’s Night Of Thunder, last year’s 2000 Guineas winner and a Goodwood winner in the past, is in opposition, but was some way behind Solow at Ascot. Connections will be hoping slower ground helps him close the gap.

Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Arod is progressing this season and was impressive in the Summer Mile. This is a step back into Group One company, though, and he was behind Night Of Thunder in the Lockinge earlier in the season.

The ground will suit Roger Varian’s Belardo, winner of last season’s Dewhurst but only lightly raced this campaign due to the dry summer.

O’Brien is represented by Cougar Mountain and Bossy Guest runs for Mick Channon, while Andrew Balding’s Here Comes When and Richard Fahey’s Gabrial complete the eight-runner field.

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