English and Irish 2000 Guineas winners in frame for £1m Goodwood race

Magna Grecia leads on the way to 2000 Guineas success at Newmarket / Picture by Getty Images
Magna Grecia leads on the way to 2000 Guineas success at Newmarket / Picture by Getty Images

Winners of the two Classics run so far in 2019 plus star older milers - and 12 individual Group 1 winners in total - feature among 35 entries for the £1m Qatar Sussex Stakes on July 31, day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The festival showpiece race, over a mile for three-year-olds and older horses, is the richest race run during the magnificent Qatar Goodwood Festival, which takes place from Tuesday, July 30, through to Saturday, August 3 inclusive, and is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Among the three-year-olds entered for the 2019 Qatar Sussex Stakes are QIPCO 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia (Aidan O'Brien IRE), who came home fifth to impressive Phoenix Of Spain (Charlie Hills) in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 25.

O'Brien, Ireland's 21-time champion Flat trainer, has seven entries in total which also include three-year-old filly Hermosa, who followed up victory in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket with an impressive success in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas on May 26.

Successful most recently in the Qatar Sussex Stakes with The Gurkha in 2016, O'Brien is seeking a sixth Qatar Sussex Stakes triumph, having also been victorious with Giant's Causeway (2000), Rock Of Gibraltar (2002), Henrythenavigator (2008) and Rip Van Winkle (2009).

Britain's reigning champion flat trainer John Gosden landed the Qatar Sussex Stakes in 2014 with the great Kingman and has three entries this year headed by the 2018 champion two-year-old Too Darn Hot, who was second to Phoenix Of Spain in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

The Newmarket handler has also made an entry for Calyx, last season's G2 Coventry Stakes winner who lost his unbeaten record when second in the G2 Sandy Lane Stakes over six furlongs at Haydock Park on May 25. Gosden's third entry is the lightly-raced King Of Comedy, impressive when landing the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown Park on May 23.

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The best mile contest for older horses run so far in Britain this year has been the G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 18, which was won by Mustashry (Sir Michael Stoute). The six-year-old had several Qatar Sussex Stakes entries behind him when scoring at the Berkshire venue, including third-placed Accidental Agent (Eve Johnson Houghton), fourth Romanised (Ken Condon IRE), fifth Le Brivido (Aidan O'Brien IRE) and sixth I Can Fly (Aidan O'Brien IRE).

Four-year-old Romanised, winner of the G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas last year, stayed on well at Newbury and the Qatar Sussex Stakes is under consideration for the Robert Ng-owned colt.

County Kildare-based Condon said: "I was delighted with Romanised's performance at Newbury. He ran a great race to finish fourth in the Lockinge and he has come out of the race in good form. The plan next is to run in the Queen Anne (June 18) at Ascot and we will see how he gets on there.

"He is going to be a big price for all those big mile races, but we're looking forward to Ascot and we will see how he gets on. We have entered him in the Qatar Sussex Stakes and that race is an option after Ascot, but we will get that out of the way first. We will keep turning up and hopefully he could land a big one at some stage this season."

Another horse who has made a good start to his 2019 campaign is Stormy Antarctic (Ed Walker), who began the year with success in the G3 Kalkmann Fruhjahrs-Meile at Dusseldorf, Germany, in April before going on to land an easy victory in the G2 Premio Presidente della Repubblica at Capannelle, Italy, on May 19.

The six-year-old also ran some good races in defeat last season, most notably when a staying-on fourth behind Roaring Lion in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October.

Upper Lambourn-based Walker said: "Stormy Antarctic is in good form and won well in Italy on his last start. He has been a real star for us and it was great to see him win again. He is so consistent and is still producing his best at six which is remarkable. He is entered at Royal Ascot and the Qatar Sussex Stakes, so he is in all the big races.

"Another option is to go back to Munich for the G1 Grosser Dallmayr Preis, which he finished second in last year."

Lightly-raced six-year-old Zabeel Prince (Roger Varian) gained a first G1 success when taking the Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp on May 26, when he had Trais Fluors (Andre Fabre FR) in third.

Godolphin has had kits royal blue colours carried to success three times in the Qatar Sussex Stakes and Sheikh Mohammed's racing operation has three contenders for 2019, headed by Barney Roy (Charlie Appleby).

Winner of the G1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2017 when trained by Richard Hannon, the five-year-old has returned to the track this year after an unsuccessful spell at stud and captured a Listed contest in France on May 23.

The other two Godolphin-owned contenders are both trained by Saeed bin Suroor and were G1 winners in France as two-year-olds last year - Royal Marine and Royal Meeting.

Other Qatar Sussex Stakes contenders include Beat The Bank (Andrew Balding), who was successful over the course and distance in the G2 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile in 2018 and winner of the G2 Sandown Mile in April this year.

As well as Mustashry, Newmarket-based Sir Michael Stoute has also entered Rawdaa andVeracious, who was third in the G1 Qatar Nassau Stakes over 10 furlongs at the 2018 Qatar Goodwood Festival.

There is a scatchings deadline for the Qatar Sussex Stakes on Tuesday, July 9, with six-day confirmation and £70,000 supplementary entry stage following on Thursday, July 25.

Entries for the other two G1 contests at the Qatar Goodwood Festival - the £500,000 Qatar Goodwood Cup (Tuesday, July 30) and the £600,000 Qatar Nassau Stakes (Thursday, August 1) will be revealed on Wednesday, June 26.