Circus Maximus added to impressive Qatar Sussex Stakes line-up

Circus Maximus wins at Royal Ascot / Picture: Getty Images
Circus Maximus wins at Royal Ascot / Picture: Getty Images

An outstanding renewal of the Qatar Sussex Stakes is in prospect with nine horses going forward for G1 mile contest at Goodwood on Wednesday, July 31, day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Circus Maximus (Aidan O'Brien) was today supplemented for the Qatar Sussex Stakes at a cost of £70,000, taking the overall prize money for the race to £1,059,250. The three-year-old Galileo colt began this season by racing over further, including when sixth in the G1 Investec Derby at Epsom Downs, but relished the drop down in distance to a mile when taking the G1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 18 - a contest he was also supplemented for. He is a 5/2 chance for the Qatar Sussex Stakes with Unibet, official betting partner of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Ireland's multiple champion Flat trainer O'Brien is seeking a sixth Qatar Sussex Stakes success following on from Giant's Causeway (2000), Rock of Gibraltar (2002), Henrythenavigator (2008), Rip Van Winkle (2009) and The Gurkha (2016). In addition to Circus Maximus, the master of Ballydoyle could run G2-winning filly I Can Fly (33/1) and the lightly-raced Never No More(16/1), not seen out since an impressive Listed win at Leopardstown in April.

All the Goodwood race line-ups
Heading the market at 11/10 with Unibet is Too Darn Hot (John Gosden). The three-year-old Dubawi colt, homebred by Lord & Lady Lloyd-Webber's Watership Down Stud, was unbeaten in four starts last year and crowned European champion two-year-old. After an interrupted start to 2019 and placed efforts in the Dante Stakes (2nd), Irish 2,000 Guineas (2nd) and St James's Palace Stakes (3rd), he got back to winning ways last time out when dropped back to seven furlongs for the G1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville on July 7.

Lord Glitters (David O'Meara, 8/1) recorded the biggest success of his career last time out when successful in the mile G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 18. The six-year-old son of Whipper is all set for a second attempt at the Qatar Sussex Stakes, having come home a fast-finishing third behind Lightning Spear in 2018.

North Yorkshire-based O'Meara reported: "Lord Glitters is in good form and the target for him is the Qatar Sussex Stakes. It was fantastic to see him win the Queen Anne and he came out of the race very well. We have been happy with him since the Queen Anne.

"He finished third in this race last year and whilst he is taking on some smart three-year-olds this year, hopefully he goes there with a good chance."

In addition to Too Darn Hot and Circus Maximus, the three-year-olds still engaged include G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain (Charlie Hills, 6/1) and Listed scorer Happy Power(Andrew Balding, 25/1).

Also going forward today are 2018 G1 Queen Anne Stakes scorer Accidental Agent (Eve Johnston Houghton, 33/1) and Zabeel Prince (Roger Varian, 14/1), who landed the G1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp in May.

The Qatar Sussex Stakes is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Qatar Sussex Stakes, Unibet odds: 11/10 Too Darn Hot; 5/2 Circus Maximus; 6/1 Phoenix of Spain; 8/1 Lord Glitters; 14/1 Zabeel Prince; 16/1 Never No More; 25/1 Happy Power; 33/1 Accidental Agent, I Can Fly

Unbeaten US raider Maven features among 18 entries for the £75,000 G3 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes (3.00pm) over five furlongs for two-year-olds.

The Wesley Ward-trained son of American Pharoah missed his intended engagement at Royal Ascot due to the soft ground and was rerouted to France where he captured the G3 Prix du Bois over this distance at Chantilly on June 29.

Liberty Beach (John Quinn) finished fourth in the G2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and backed that up against the colts with a facile success in the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown Park on July 5.

Fleeting Spirit in 2007 is the most recent filly to win the Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes. Other promising fillies among the entries include Listed National Stakes winner Flippa The Strippa(Charlie Hills) and the Tom Dascombe-trained Dr Simpson, who returned from a near three-month break to win a Chester novice race by seven lengths on July 13.

Dascombe, who landed this race with Kachy in 2015, said today: "Dr Simpson has a couple of options at Goodwood next week.

"We will run her in the race that I think she has the best chance of winning and I would love that to be the Molecomb Stakes.

"We thought she was a nice filly before she finished second at Windsor first time out. Then we gave her a bit of time and she could not have done it any better than she did at Chester.

"I am pretty confident that she is going to be well up to this sort of level, it is just a case of whether it is going to come a bit too soon."

Newmarket trainer George Scott is looking forward to saddling Raahy after he blitzed his rivals, including subsequent winner X Force, by four lengths in a five-furlong novice race at Lingfield Park on June 29. That came on the back of placed efforts over further at Doncaster and Windsor.

Scott said today: "Goodwood has been the plan for Raahy since he won at Lingfield.

"We have been very pleased with him in the meantime. He is not the easiest horse to gauge at home because he isn't flashy, but he is in really good order at the moment.

"Even though this is a big step up from a Lingfield novice race, I am pretty confident that he will acquit himself well.

"The one thing about him is that he is very fast out of the stalls and that will be a help running down the hill at Goodwood. I would be surprised if there is something quick enough to lead him, even though I would not mind taking a lead.

"His sire (Brazen Beau) was obviously very fast and it was probably trainer error starting him over further, but there is a lot of stamina on the dam side. I trained the half-sister and she won over a mile and three furlongs."

French handler Matthieu Palussiere has two entries, including G2 Prix Robert Papin fourth Fan Club Rules, while leading Irish trainer Joseph O'Brien could be represented by Tipperary Listed runner-up Air Force Jet and Navan maiden winner Alligator Alley.

Day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival opens with the £50,000 Unibet Goodwood Handicap (1.50pm, 31 entries). Staged over an extended two and a half miles, this is the longest race of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and the entries include last year's runaway Lil Rockerfeller (Neil King) and The Grand Visir (Ian Williams), who landed the 2019 Ascot Handicap over a similar distance at Royal Ascot.

Also taking place on Wednesday is the £75,000 Unibet Handicap (2.25pm, 29 entries) over a mile and a half for three-year-olds and the new £50,000 European Breeders' Fund Alice Keppel EBF Fillies' Conditions Race (4.10pm, 15 entries) over five furlongs for two-year-old fillies.

Action runs through to the £30,000 British EBF Premier Fillies' Handicap (4.35pm, 17 entries, 1m 1f 197y) and the concluding £25,000 New & Lingwood Handicap (5.55pm, 42 entries, 7f).

The G1 Qatar International Stakes for Purebred Arabians (5.20pm), worth £400,000 and run over a mile, is the sixth race on the card.