Glorious Goodwood: Nine in frame for Sussex Stakes

Toronado and Sean Levey working on the gallops   Piture byc Dan Abraham / Goodwood Racecourse
Toronado and Sean Levey working on the gallops Piture byc Dan Abraham / Goodwood Racecourse

Kingman and Toronado headline the thrilling six-day confirmations for the £300,000 Group One QIPCO Sussex Stakes, the highlight on the second day of Glorious Goodwood on Wednesday.

e clash, the latest ‘Duel on the Downs’, has been the focal point of the five-day meeting since the pair both triumphed at Royal Ascot, where they cemented their status as Europe’s leading three-year-old and older miler respectively.

Kingman, trained by John Gosden, spectacularly turned the tables on his QIPCO 2,000 Guineas conqueror Night Of Thunder in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes, while Toronado defied a 300-day absence in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes.

Kingman is the odds-on favourite to continue the good recent record of three-year-olds, who have won five of the last six renewals of the QIPCO Sussex Stakes over a mile. Toronado on the other hand is bidding to join the mighty Frankel as the only other horse to win two runnings of the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, having got the better of Dawn Approach in a fantastic renewal 12 months ago.

Toronado’s trainer Richard Hannon has also left in three-time Group One winner Olympic Glory and Shifting Power, who found Kingman five lengths too strong in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 24.

A return to Glorious Goodwood is on the cards for Outstrip, who was beaten a neck in the Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes at the meeting last year. The son of Exceed And Excel subsequently provided Charlie Appleby with a first success at the highest level with a thrilling victory in the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.

Outstrip produced a dirty scope after disappointing in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas but returned to form with a battling third when three and a quarter lengths behind Kingman at Royal Ascot and could bid to provide Godolphin with a third QIPCO Sussex Stakes victory following Noverre (2001) and Ramonti (2007).

Appleby reported today: “If it is good or quick racing ground, then Outstrip will run at Goodwood - anything on the slow side of good and he won’t be taking his chance.

“He’s an athletic horse and handled the course at Goodwood well last year. We felt that he hit the front a little too soon in the Vintage Stakes but we learned a lot from that run.

“We were disappointed with him in the Guineas but he had a genuine excuse that day as he scoped very badly afterwards. I had been pleased with his preparation going into Newmarket and I was very happy going into Royal Ascot, where he produced what I thought was a career-best performance.

“He has come out of the St James’s Palace Stakes very well. You have to respect Kingman and Toronado but we would be happy to let Outstrip take them on provided the ground is good or faster.”

The nine confirmations are completed by Group One Falmouth Stakes heroine Integral and the Aidan O’Brien-trained trio of War Command, winner of last season’s Group One Dewhurst Stakes, Darwin and Illusive.

Goodwood’s seven-race card on Wednesday also features the £80,000 Group Three Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes over 12 furlongs, a leading trial for the final British Classic, the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on September 13. The 11 confirmations are topped by Group Three Bahrain Trophy victor Hartnell and Group One Eclipse Stakes third Somewhat, both trained by North Yorkshire handler Mark Johnston.

Other notables include Group Two King Edward VII Stakes third Scotland (Andrew Balding), Investec Derby fifth Red Galileo (Ed Dunlop) and Observational (Roger Charlton), winner of the Listed Casco EBF Stallions Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood on May 23.

Some of the leading contenders for next year’s Classics could be on show in the £80,000 Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes. The seven-furlong contest has gone the way of subsequent stars Olympic Glory (2012), Sir Percy (2005) and Shamardal (2004) in recent years.

The Hannon team, successful in the last four renewals, have three possible representatives in the shape of impressive Group Two winner Ivawood, Group Two Coventry Stakes seventh Dr No and Sandown maiden winner Tupi.

lso engaged is Norfolk Stakes third Ahlan Emarati (Peter Chapple-Hyam) and Highland Reel (Aidan O’Brien), who won a mile maiden by 12 lengths at Gowran Park on July 1.

The seven-race programme gets under way at 1.55pm and concludes at 5.25pm.