Sussex Stakes: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Andrew Balding
Andrew Balding saddles 2000 Guineas winner Kameko in the Sussex Stakes

Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Wednesday's Sussex Stakes and pick out their 1-2-3...

"...the one who has been underestimated in the market..."

Timeform on Kameko

1. Circus Maximus (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/Ryan Moore)
High-class performer who won the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp in 2019. Proved better than ever after eight months off when also winning the Queen Anne Stakes back at Royal Ascot (by a head from Terebellum) last time, digging deep to see off a progressive rival who had the benefit of a recent run. Very straightforward and likeable, he should continue to give a good account having put together an excellent record since dropping to a mile and being fitted with blinkers (also finished second in this race 12 months ago).

2. Mohaather (Marcus Tregoning/Jim Crowley)
Missed most of 2019 after winning the Greenham Stakes at Newbury, finishing five lengths fifth to King of Change in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on his only subsequent start that season. Caught the eye after another eight months off when four and a half lengths seventh to Circus Maximus in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing with running left after enduring a luckless passage. Confirmed the promise of that effort when winning the Summer Mile back at Ascot (by three and three quarter lengths from San Donato) last time, forging clear after quickening to lead a furlong out. Still lightly raced and looks well worth another try in Group 1 company.

3. San Donato (Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni)
Showed smart form as a two-year-old in 2018 but missed most of last season due to injury, finishing a length third to Persian King in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp on his sole start. Showed he retains all his ability after 14 months off when three and three quarter lengths second to Mohaather in the Summer Mile at Ascot last time, proving no match for the winner but keeping on well. May yet prove capable of better with that outing under his belt, but it's still hard to see him reversing the placings with Mohaather on his return to Group 1 company.

4. Kameko (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy)
Developed into one of the best two-year-olds around last season, notably winning the Futurity Trophy at Newcastle on his final start. Progressed further after seven months off when also winning the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket (by a neck from Wichita) in June, briefly having to wait for a gap but staying on strongly once in the clear to get on top close home. Failed to get home when six lengths fourth to Serpentine in Derby at Epsom last time. Drop back in trip should play more to his strengths and looks to hold sound claims if reproducing the form he showed at Newmarket.

5. Siskin (Ger Lyons, Ireland/Colin Keane)
Unbeaten in four starts as a two-year-old in 2019, including the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. Took another step forward after 10 months off when completing a five-timer in the Irish 2000 Guineas back at the Curragh (by one and three quarter lengths from Vatican City) last time, having to be switched a furlong out but showing a good turn of foot once in the clear. Still unexposed at the trip and may yet have even more to offer, though that has been factored into his price, which looks short enough judged solely on what he has achieved to date.

6. Vatican City (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/William Buick)
Confirmed debut promise when winning a maiden at Dundalk on his final two-year-old start. Looked unlucky not to finish closer after eight months off when one and three quarter lengths second to Siskin in the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh in June, finishing well after being denied a clear run entering the final two furlongs. Looked ill at ease on the track and possibly failed to stay when eight and three quarter lengths eighth to Serpentine in the Derby at Epsom last time. Remains with potential now back down in trip, but others make more appeal.

7. Wichita (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/Frankie Dettori)
Won two of his four starts as a two-year-old in 2019, including the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket. Progressed further in two starts this season, showing high-class form to finish second in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket (a neck behind Kameko) and third in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot (a length behind Palace Pier). Left the impression he would have been better served by setting a stronger gallop on the last occasion, keeping going well after being headed inside the final furlong. That appeals as strong form and he shouldn't be underestimated for his top connections.

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