Glorious Goodwood: 31 still in frame for Qatar Sussex Stakes

Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori win the Vintage Stakes at the 2015 Qatar Goodwood Festival / Picture by Louise Adams
Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori win the Vintage Stakes at the 2015 Qatar Goodwood Festival / Picture by Louise Adams

A total of 31 top horses are still in the frame for the showpiece race of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

That’s the number who remain in the line-up for the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes following the latest scratchings deadline and an enthralling renewal of the mile contest, worth £1m for the second year, is in prospect on Wednesday, July 27.

A thrilling clash of the generations could see Classic winners Galileo Gold (Hugo Palmer), Minding (Aidan O’Brien), The Gurkha (Aidan O’Brien), Awtaad (Kevin Prendergast) and Jet Setting (Adrian Keatley) take on the cream of the older generation.

Al Shaqab Racing’s Galileo Gold landed the opening British Classic of the season, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, before being beaten in the Irish equivalent by Awtaad.

The pair re-opposed in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, with Galileo Gold coming out on top ahead of French 2,000 Guineas hero The Gurkha and Awtaad in third.

Minding has strong claims to be the best three-year-old in Europe with Classic wins in both the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Investec Oaks as well as a victory over her elders in the Pretty Polly Stakes. Her only reversal came when the unlucky runner-up to Jet Setting in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

There are no firm plans for him at the moment as we are still deciding, but he is in the Qatar Sussex Stakes and it is a definite option.

David Simcock

Other eye-catching three-year-olds remaining in include Godolphin’s Group 3 Jersey Stakes scorer Ribchester (Richard Fahey)

There is also strong representation from the older generation, with the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes hero Belardo (Roger Varian), last season’s Celebration Mile victor Kodi Bear (Clive Cox) and Queen Anne Stakes third Lightning Spear (David Simcock) all going forward.

Lightning Spear acquitted himself well in good company for Olly Stevens last season, with his best effort coming when fourth behind Esoterique in the Group One Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August.

Simcock: “Lightning Spear is in good order and has come out of Royal Ascot very well.

“There are no firm plans for him at the moment as we are still deciding, but he is in the Qatar Sussex Stakes and it is a definite option.

“I was delighted with his run at Royal Ascot on ground that, for all he handled it, is not his preferred choice.

“He is definitely better on fast ground and you could not have asked for any more on his first run of the year.”

Minding tops Qatar Nassau Stakes

Minding (Aidan O’Brien) also features among 31 fillies and mares going forward for the Group One Qatar Nassau Stakes, staged over nearly 10 furlongs on the fifth and final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, Saturday, July 30.

Also under consideration for the richest race of its kind in Europe at £600,000 are Minding’s stablemate Even Song, successful in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, and Arabian Queen (David Elsworth), one of only two horses to defeat the great Golden Horn when successful in the Juddmonte International at York last season.

French interest could be provided by Jemayel (Jean Claude Rouget). The Al Shaqab Racing-owned three-year-old won the Group One Prix Saint-Alary at Deauville in May before finishing an unlucky ninth when beaten under four lengths in the Prix de Diane.

Trio of £300,000 Group Two contests shaping up

The three £300,000 Group Two contests at the Qatar Goodwood Festival are shaping up well following the July 5 scratchings deadline.

Remarkably all 41 of the original entries for the seven-furlong Qatar Lennox Stakes on Tuesday, July 26, including last year’s first and second Toormore (Richard Hannon) and Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills), remain.

Similarly, the first six horses home from last year’s Qatar Goodwood Cup are all still engaged in this year’s renewal on Thursday, July 28, which has 26 entries going forward. They are - Big Orange (Michael Bell), Quest For More (Roger Charlton), Trip To Paris (Ed Dunlop), Pallasator (Sir Mark Prescott), Vive Ma Fille (Mark Johnston) and Sheikhzayedroad (David Simcock).

The five-furlong Qatar King George Stakes (Friday, July 29) has 34 entries going forward, including the Group One winners Profitable (Clive Cox) and Goldream (Robert Cowell), plus Outback Traveller (Robert Cowell) and Brando (Kevin Ryan), who were first and second respectively in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot.

Weights revealed for Heritage Handicaps

The weights are unveiled today for the two very valuable heritage handicaps at the Qatar Goodwood Festival - the £250,000 Qatar Stewards’ Cup over six furlongs on Saturday, July 30 and the £150,000 Betfred Mile, run on Friday, July 29.

Outback Traveller (Robert Cowell, 9st 9lb) and Brando (Kevin Ryan, 9st 10lb)feature at the top of the weights for the Qatar Stewards’ Cup, while promising three-year-old Taneen (Roger Varian, 8st 10lb) and last year’s runner-up Toofi (Robert Cowell, 9st 2lb) are disputing favouritism in the ante-post market.

Weights for the Betfred Mile are jointly headed by Jallota (Charlie Hills) and Basem (Saeed bin Suroor). Last year’s winner Belgian Bill (George Baker, 9st 2lb) is 16/1 co-favourite with Betfred for a repeat victory. He has been allotted a pound less than he carried to victory in 2015.

The maximum field for the Qatar Stewards’ Cup is 28, while 20 can run in the Betfred Mile.

Betfred Mile - Betfred latest betting: 16/1 Atlantic Sun, Azraff, Basem, Belgian Bill, Best of Times, Carry On Deryck, Donncha, Gabrial’s Kaka, Haalick, Jailawi, Mutamakkin, Muwaary, One Word More, Peril, Secret Brief, Tabarrak, Third Time Lucky.

20/1 Arcanada, Balmoral Castle, Bronze Angel, Celestial Path, Chil The Kite, Examiner, Felix Leiter, Franklin D, Glory Awaits, Grand Inquisitor, Here Comes When, Instant Attraction, Jallota, Kelinni, Keystroke, Master The World, Mutawathea, Out And About, Pick Your Choice, White Lake, Yattwee, You’re Fired.

25/1 Above N Beyond, Afjaan, Bossy Guest, Can’t Change It, Dark Emerald, Earth Drummer, Hors de Combat, Ice Slice, Knight Owl, Melvin The Grate, Muffri’Ha, Outlaw Country, Si Senor, Sirius Prospect, What About Carlo.

33/1 Chevallier, Fieldsman, Gold Prince, Heatstroke, Imshivalla, Lat Hawill, Manson, Mohab, Oh This Is Us, Room Key, Spring Offensive, The Warrior, Zhui Feng.

40/1 Boomshackerlacker, Emell, Jack’s Revenge, King’s Pavilion, Ode To Evening, Palawan, Whitman, Wilde Inspiration.

50/1 Alcatraz, Beaverbrook, Czech It Out, Enlace, Goring, Laidback Romeo, Outer Space, Riflescope, Solar Deity.

66/1 Bathos, Boots And Spurs, Montsarrat, Red Avenger, Welford.

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