Europe’s leading three-year-olds Night Of Thunder and Kingman feature among the star-studded entries for the £300,000 Group One QIPCO Sussex Stakes, run over a mile on the second day of Glorious Goodwood, Wednesday, July 30.
The pair, trained by Richard Hannon and John Gosden respectively, have already clashed twice this season with the score currently at one all.
Kingman was four and a half lengths superior in Newbury’s Greenham Stakes on April 12, but a combination of faster ground and a step up to a mile saw Night Of Thunder touch off his rival by half a length in the first Classic of the season, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 3.
The form of the Classic has been franked with Kingman recording a five-length victory over Shifting Power (Richard Hannon), who was fourth at Newmarket, in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on May 24. Kingman and Night Of Thunder are set to meet again in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.
Three-year-olds have dominated the QIPCO Sussex Stakes in recent years, annexing five of the last six renewals, and the Classic generation could also be represented by last year’s champion two-year-old Toormore (Richard Hannon) and Dewhurst Stakes hero War Command (Aidan O’Brien). John Gosden has also entered French 2,000 Guineas fourth Muwaary, while Godolphin’s sole entry is the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf scorer Outstrip (Charlie Appleby).
Richard Hannon’s formidable six-strong entry also includes three of Europe’s leading older horses. Olympic Glory saw off his rivals comfortably in the mile Group One Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 17, while last year’s QIPCO Sussex Stakes hero Toronado and four-time Group One heroine Sky Lantern are both set to reappear at Royal Ascot next month.
Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien also has six contenders, headed by War Command and exciting US import Verrazano. The son of More Than Ready notched up two Grade One victories on dirt for Todd Pletcher in 2013, including a near 10-length demolition in the Haskell Invitational, and shaped with promise when third to Olympic Glory on his turf debut in the Lockinge at Newbury. O’Brien, who has four QIPCO Sussex Stakes successes to his name, could also rely on Darwin, Giovanni Boldini, Illusive and the unraced but highly-regarded Cougar Mountain.
Fellow Irish handler Tom Hogan has entered stable star Gordon Lord Byron, who started 2014 in fine style with a narrow victory in the mile Group One George Ryder Stakes at Randwick, Australia, in March.
International interest comes in the shape of Soft Falling Rain, who was an impressive winner of last year’s Group Two Joel Stakes at Newmarket for South African handler Mike de Kock, Prix d’Ispahan runner-up Anodin (Freddy Head) and Chopin (Andreas Wohler), trained in France and Germany respectively.
Other notable entries include last year’s Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Just The Judge (Charlie Hills) and the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Integral.
Toronado beat Dawn Approach by half a length in a thrilling finish to the 2013 QIPCO Sussex Stakes, with subsequent Juddmonte International winner Declaration Of War another two and a half lengths back in third. Frankel, the greatest horse in living memory, won the previous two runnings of the QIPCO Sussex Stakes in tremendous style.
The QIPCO Sussex Stakes is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Glorious Goodwood takes place from Tuesday, July 29, through to Saturday, August 2 inclusive at the world’s most beautiful racecourse and is a wonderful mix of high-class horseracing, fashion and social occasion.
Racegoers intending to be at Glorious Goodwood can save up to £10 if booking in advance before June 1. Please go to www.goodwood.co.uk
See more on the Sussex Stakes and the May Festival at Goodwood in the Chichester Observer – out on Thursday
The QIPCO Sussex Stakes
Group 1, £300,000 total prize fund. Glorious Goodwood, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, One mile. For three-year-olds and upwards. Weights: three-year-old colts and geldings 9st, fillies 8st 11lb; four-year-old and up colts and geldings 9st 8lb, fillies 9st 5lb. Entries closed May 27, entries revealed May 28 (28 entries), scratchings deadline, July 8, six-day confirmations & £19,500 supplementary stage July 24, final declarations 10am, July 28.
COUGAR MOUNTAIN (IRE)
GIOVANNI BOLDINI (USA)
GORDON LORD BYRON (IRE)
JUST THE JUDGE (IRE)
LAT HAWILL (IRE)
NIGHT OF THUNDER (IRE)
OLYMPIC GLORY (IRE)
SKY LANTERN (IRE)
SOFT FALLING RAIN (SAF)
WAR COMMAND (USA)
1 South African-trained