Tag Archives: Sussex Stakes

The Sussex Stakes (G1)

Aidan and Donnacha in conversation with Lancaster Bomber being led away after his maiden win at Leopardstown last August.


Nine go to post with Ribchester and Churchill providing the duel in the downs. Ribchester heads the market as an even money shot with Churchill priced up at 2/1.

It’s a fair reflection that the rest of the field trade at 9/1 or better.

Ribchester has gone from strength to strength since running third in this last year. He went to Deauville after that and won the Jacques Le Marois. This year he’s won with authoritative performances the Lockinge and The Queen Anne. His trainer say’s he’s matured and now settle’s in his races. In the Lockinge he led from the front and in The Queen Anne he came from off the pace. He’s a very good four-year old and a win here will see stamp him as the best miler around today.

Churchill looked to be heading to take that mantel before blotting his copybook in the St James’s Palace Stakes last time out at Royal Ascot. Up to that point he’d built on a quality juvenile career where he’d won the National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes before adding both the Guineas and Irish Guineas to his CV in this his classic year. He hasn’t been flashy, he had been reliable always doing enough to see off his rivals. Then at Ascot he ran flat as a pancake never picking up to challenge the leaders trailing in a well beaten forth.

Aidan O’Brien has never been able to identify what happened, nothing came back to suggest there was anything wrong with him. All that can be said was it was just an off day, nothing more. He now meets his elders for the first time and does so with a valuable 7 lbs weight for age allowance, the same as his stable companion Lancaster Bomber who finished in front of him for the first time at Ascot.

He can’t afford to have an off day, today he must produce his best day if he is to beat Ribchester. The depth of his form say’s he can do it.

With three to be placed Lancaster Bomber can again outrun his odds and run into a place.

Recommendation : Churchill 2/1 win

                                         Lancaster Bomber 28/1 ew



The Sussex Stakes (Group 1)

This race has been eagerly anticipated since the Saint James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot when Dawn Approach just got the better of Toranado by a short head.

The anticipation goes back further to the spring and the Guineas when the clash first happened.  They went off favourite and second favourite at Newmarket. Dawn Approach had come as champion two year old where his juvenile season had been beautifully crafted by his astute trainer Jim Bolger. Five wins including the Jersey, National and Dewhurst. A rock solid champion in expectation going into the first classic. Then Richard Hannon unleashed Toranado in the Craven. Real opposition had been thrown into the Guineas mix.

Come the big day and Toranado miscued while the Irish colt fluffed no lines. The anticipated match didn’t happen and a general sense of disappointment permeated across us all watching. Even though Dawn Approach was a super winner we were left deflated by the lack of battle in Toranado.

Come Royal Ascot and Hughie’s talking up his colt we were a little disbelieving. In the meantime huge doubts had been built up about Jim Bolger’s colt. It seemed ridiculous that in just seventeen days Dawn Approach who had run out of control at Epsom could revert to the mile, relax in the hands of Kevin Manning and then have enough speed to win. The Derby disaster had to be forgotten, as had the flat run of Toranado in the Guineas. No sense of anticipation really with both colts on a retrieval mission.

The real sense was more that neither would be capable of turning it around.

Toranado looked too wounded after Newmarket and the skepticism in us said the Craven was a flash in the pan. He had looked impressive against mediocre horses but on the big stage he was found out.

Then two furlongs out at Ascot and our levels of excitement ratcheted up. As Dawn Approach stretched Toranado was bearing down on him in full flight. In the last 100 yards it was still undecided. Toranado had suffered a bump at a crucial stage and slightly lost his stride. Dawn Approach prevailed, just. Richard Hughes was sure he lost the race because of that bump. Ascot roared a declaration of war between the two.

So now the rematch.

Did the bump do enough to stop Toranado gunning down Dawn Approach or was the Irish colt holding him. Had he enough in the tank to repel him if needed?

Anticipation and licking of lips at the thought of this is now eager in all our minds. Any skepticism we had is well buried not even in the back of our minds but dispelled completely from the body altogether.

It’s easy to forget but it’s not a match as five other colts line up. Leitir Mor and Reply are there to do a job. Set a fast pace, burn quick fractions. In the case of Leitir Mor his sacrifice will be for Dawn Approach while Reply will be there to set it up for Declaration Of War.

The Queen Anne winner came to Ballydolye with a tall reputation from Jean Claude Rouget. The weight of money behind him in the ring at Newbury for the Lockinge suggested that reputation would not be let down. He ran like Toranado in the Guineas failing to fire leaving that tall reputation in tatters.

Come the Queen Anne and a blow away performance in a time quicker than that run by Dawn Approach later in the day and a reputation restored to full glory. He had Gregorian was back in third with Trade Storm in fifth. He then went to the Eclipse where only Al Kazeem got the better of him.

Anticipation now includes three.

In cold analysis we can say the classic bunch are ordinary. Garswood raised the flag in the Lennox Stakes yesterday but on the whole they haven’t looked great. At a mile the two who do look top drawer are the two here. As for the four year old, reputation stands tall but with the American Animal Kingdom more interested in his stud career than racing that day we have got to wonder was it a weak Queen Anne.

The clock said not so while we will have a three year old battle royal we might find a real Declaration Of War.

Recommendation: Declaration Of War 5/1 win

QIPCO Sussex Stakes (Group 1)

The most talked about race of the season so far without doubt. A match between Frankel and Canford Cliffs that won’t let us down. The anticipation has been eager since the 2000 Guineas this year. Everyone has looked forward to this and it will live up to the expectations and most probably even exceed them.

Rio De La Plata and Rajsaman oppose and standing their ground must be congratulated. They are there only to play bit parts but in terms of how this race goes their being there is crucial.

It will all be about the tactics or will it?

Will Frankel do what he did at Newmarket and burn off his rival with his enormous stride of will he wait before releasing the throttle in the last two furlongs? The fascination is that he can do either.

Canford Cliffs is a real high-class traveller who has just sat in behind and picked them off at will in the last furlong. Will he be able to match the stride of Frankel and still have enough left to pick him off?

How about the form?

Well there is no holes in either colts CV.

The Richard Hannon colt has beaten all the best over a mile last year and this. The striking thing about the 2010 three-year old crop was how good the miler’s were. In the end their was only one. He since added a Lockinge and a Queen Anne to go with the three Group 1’s of last year.

Sir Henry Cecil’s has never lost a race in his seven career starts and boy does his form stand up. From his racecourse debut when he put Nathaniel to the sword he has just got better and better. He has the ability to destroy the hearts and minds of the opposition both equine and human.

There only one result we want, a dead heat. Do you think they’ll both stay 10 f? So You Think? Whow, easy now.