Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide to the Sussex Stakes, a Group 1 race taking place on the second day of Glorious Goodwood 2016.
"Beaten just over a length by Galileo Gold in St James’s Palace when hold-up tactics backfired and has strong claims of turning the tables..."
Wednesday July 27, 15:10
1. Gabrial (Richard Fahey) Smart gelding who's more at home at listed level (winner at Windsor two starts ago), but has a habit of running into a place at long odds in top company, including when third in this race last year and again in Summer Mile last time.
2. Kodi Bear (Clive Cox) Looked a miler with a good future around this time last year, winning Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury and Celebration Mile in good style here from Gabrial. Not firing at all this year though (sixth in Summer Mile last time), so hard to fancy.
3. Lightning Spear (David Simcock) Lightly-raced horse who progressed from handicaps to reach the frame in Summer Mile (second to Arod) and Prix Jacques le Marois last year. Better than ever on first start for new stable when less than two lengths third to Tepin in Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, after being left with lot to do. Could build on that first run for eight months, and looks biggest danger to the three-year-olds.
4. Richard Pankhurst (John Gosden) Only had five starts, winning Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot at two and minor event at Haydock on next start over a year later. Best effort when keeping-on fifth to Mutakayyef in Summer Mile at Ascot on return earlier this month, but asking a lot to get more competitive in this.
5. So Beloved (David O'Meara) Good track record as first past post in Betfred Mile (later disqualified after testing positive) and Group 3 Supreme Stakes (7f) here last summer. Returned in good form with listed win at Haydock and readily excused last start on heavy ground, but needs career-best on first try at Group 1 level.
6. Toormore (Richard Hannon) Has a fine record at this meeting, winning Vintage Stakes at two and Lennox Stakes last year in which he was runner-up in 2014. Not on a going day in Summer Mile last time having won Sandown Mile in April, while creditable fourth in Queen Anne shows his limitations in Group 1 company these days.
7. Awtaad (Kevin Prendergast) Completed four-timer when beating Galileo Gold in Irish 2000 Guineas, enjoying smoother run than runner-up. Boot was on other foot at Royal Ascot when only third to same rival in St James's Palace Stakes, while probable firmer conditions very much an unknown too (all starts bar debut on soft ground).
8. Galileo Gold (Hugo Palmer) Improved on smart two-year-old form (won Vintage Stakes here) to win 2000 Guineas. Got in the clear too late to catch Awtaad in Irish equivalent, but redeemed himself with another high-class effort to beat The Gurkha and Awtaad in St James's Palace Stakes last time where seen to better effect than runner-up in particular. No certainty to confirm placings therefore, but has right attitude and track should suit style of running.
9. Ribchester (Richard Fahey) Mill Reef Stakes winner last year and gave good account on first try at 1m when three and a half lengths third to Galileo Gold in 2000 Guineas. Better still back at 7f when clear-cut winner of Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, but more needed against the St James's Palace colts.
10. The Gurkha (Aidan O'Brien) Only made debut in April, but most impressive on just third start when running away with French Guineas at Deauville from a host of subsequent winners. Beaten just over a length by Galileo Gold in St James's Palace when hold-up tactics backfired and has strong claims of turning the tables. Can be excused another odds-on defeat since to Hawkbill in 1¼m Eclipse (may prove best at 1m).
Timeform Sussex Stakes 1-2-3
1. The Gurkha
2. Galileo Gold
3. Lightning Spear
Timeform Analyst's Verdict:
Tactics played a big part in the outcome of the St James's Palace and there is a good chance THE GURKHA can prove himself the best of the 3 Guineas winners on show and get the better of Galileo Gold this time. Lightning Spear looks the pick of the older brigade.