Only four runners turned out to contest yesterday’s Group 1 QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Goodwood but the race provided a pulsating finish, despite the first five and a half furlongs being run at a very sedate pace. In a tactical affair, last year’s winner Toronado (High Chaparral) was the first to quicken with just over two furlongs to run and soon headed the leader Darwin (Big Brown), but Kingman (Invincible Spirit) came from the back of the quartet to sweep past the pair of them and win by a length.
Viewing entries in
The long awaited clash between the defending Champion and four-year-old Toronado (High Chaparral) and the youngster, the three-year-old Irish Classic winner Kingman (Invincible Spirit), takes place on the downs of Goodwood, over the mile of the Group 1 Sussex Stakes today.
Watch Toronado winning the Sussex Stakes (Group 1)
(Image : RTE - Footage : Racing UK)
QIPCO SUSSEX STAKES (Group 1)
Goodwood, Turf, 1609m
31 July 2013
Summerhill CEOJust this past weekend, we witnessed the victory in the Darley Irish Oaks (Gr.1) of a filly called Chicquita, who arrived at The Curragh the best-performed maiden in Europe. The problem was not talent, it was a waywardness which had seen her depart the track at right angles on her previous start, after claiming the lead in the Group One in France. This is where jockeyship counts, and in the event, Johnny Murtagh made no mistake in the closing stages of the Oaks.
There is little knowing what lies ahead for this talented daughter of Montjeu, because for her, her Classic supremacy marked just the end of the beginning. If pedigree counts, and those who’ve made it in this family are anything to go by, Chiquita is in for a long and satisfying ride. Among others, hers is the illustrious family of Alexandrova, Magical Romance, Dunka, Doyen, etc. Classic performers of note, and from a Summerhill point of view, she’s a close relative of Golden Sword, who joined the roster to much acclaim last season.
Wednesday at Goodwood, the Sussex Stakes (Gr.1) saw the coming together of three of the best three-year-olds in the world. Dawn Approach is officially the highest rated racehorse on the planet at the moment, Declaration of War was a commendable winner of the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr.1), while Toronado had run Dawn Approach to the shortest of short heads on their previous meeting in the St James Place Stakes (Gr.1) at Royal Ascot.
The betting suggested though, that it really was a match between Dawn Approach and Toronado, and that’’s the way it turned out. Both horses need careful handling, though on the evidence so far, it seems that Dawn Approach (outside of his Derby effort) is the more straightforward, and at least Kevin Manning had him worked out. Toronado on the other hand, had been asked to run variously at the front, in the middle, and at the back, and nobody outside of Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes had any inkling of what tactics they would adopt.
In the event, Dawn Approach settled comfortably into third, while Toronado settled in the rear, tracking Declaration Of War. The pace was on from the start, and as they neared the bend to the Goodwood straight, it picked up to the speed of sound. Dawn Approach grabbed the initiative, surging away and looking the winner a long way. On Toronado, Richard Hughes was as still as a corpse, and as they went through the two furlong pole, I was beginning to think he was riding him “crook”. Still he sat, and it wasn’t until they hit the final furlong that he set Toronado loose. I’ve seen many great races in my time, but I can honestly say, this one matched the best of them, as Toronado swept relentlessly by the champion, to beat him going away by the best part of a half to three quarters of a length. It was breath-taking, the kind of race that makes people feel good, and the sport seem grander.
Again, from a Golden Sword perspective, Toronado is a son of High Chaparral, the only stallion since his own sire Sadler’s Wells, to get six Group One winners from his first year at stud. Earlier this year, another High Chaparral progidy, It’s a Dundeel, swept the Australian Triple Crown, and now Europe is sitting with a star for the ages. Salutary news for those who were smart enough to get a mare to Golden Sword in his maiden season.
Click above to watch an insert on Frankel’s win in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes (G1)
(Photo : Bettor - Footage : HorseRaceEquidia)
QIPCO SUSSEX STAKES (Group 1)
Goodwood, Turf, 1609m
1 August 2012
Before yesterday’s G1 Qipco Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, the only meaningful betting was on the winning distance of Frankel (GB) (Galileo), as his Black Caviar-like starting price of 1-20 was prohibitive to say the least. That said, the bookmakers had no option than to deter the punters, and the inevitable duly occurred with Tom Queally having matters wrapped up once the Juddmonte juggernaut had been allowed to stride past his invaluable 3/4-brother Bullet Train (GB) (Sadler’s Wells) approaching the quarter pole. From there, it was like a piece of exercise on the Newmarket gallops as he glided to a six-length defeat of Farhh (GB) (Pivotal) to make it a dozen outings unbeaten and become the first to win this race twice.
Now with an average winning distance of five lengths in all the Group 1 events he has contested, Frankel has also equaled the record set by Rock of Gibraltar (Ire) (Danehill) of seven consecutive successes at the top level in Europe. In doing so, he set himself up perfectly for his first attempt at further than a mile in the G1 Juddmonte International over an extended 10-furlong trip at York in three weeks’ time. Unfortunately, both Khalid Abdullah and Sir Henry Cecil were absent due to health reasons, but Frankel gave them no cause for concern as he extended his stable’s record of wins in this to seven since 1975.
“Every moment spent on his back is a special one and today was no different,” the humble and talented Tom Queally said after guiding his 18th winner at this level for Sir Henry Cecil. “He’s amazing and he had all the other horses cooked a little after halfway. You don’t have to ask him to do an awful lot, and again he put distance between them without doing anything major from my point of view. It was a nice prep for his next race, and he’s a class apart from anything else at the moment. He does it all very easily and therefore I have a very easy job - all I have to do is steer. He’s turning Group 1 races into processions. The crowd really appreciate him, and it’s important that they do.”
Speaking on behalf of the Juddmonte operation and Warren Place was Teddy Grimthorpe, and he was struggling to summarise afterwards. “Frankel is something else - we are lucky to have him and racing is tremendously fortunate,” he said. “He really is just a remarkable equine. Henry and everyone at Warren Place have done a fantastic job, and it’s been a great effort just to get him absolutely spot on. I think it’s hugely exciting that he’s going to step up in trip now. It’s a new challenge for him and it’s what everybody wants to see him do. I think he’s ready to do it, as he’s much more mature, both mentally and physically. He always works wonderfully and keeps putting it in, so it almost becomes the norm, but we have to enjoy it, as these incredible, exceptional horses are what we come into racing for. Henry has that tremendous feel for horses and Tom has built up a great affinity for the horse now. Earlier on in his career, it was probably Frankel that was telling him what he wanted to do, but now it’s a very good combination.”
Despite the ease of his 12th success, Frankel is set to stay on his current world ranking of 140 pounds, according to the British Horseracing Authority’s Mile Handicapper Dominic Gardiner-Hill. “I’m sure that was exactly what his connections wanted - a stroll on the Downs before he tackles a longer trip for the first time at York in three weeks’ time,” he said. “He went into the race with 32 pounds in hand of Gabrial and he has beaten him 9 1/4 lengths, so initial interpretation of that would be that Frankel ran to a mark in the high 120’s or possibly 130, as he won so comfortably. To achieve the highest rating ever, he needs to run in a race where there’s greater strength in depth, and I feel that he can only do that over 10 furlongs. In his races over the last year, he’s really only ever had one horse to beat - Canford Cliffs in this race a year ago, Excelebration in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, JLT Lockinge and Queen Anne, and Farhh this afternoon - but if the likes of Cirrus des Aigles, Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey take him on over 10 furlongs, we should get a real handle on just how good he is.”
Extract from Throughbred Daily News
Champion Jockey Michael Roberts
(Image : Marlirka)
A CHAMPION SPEAKS
In the immediate aftermath of Frankel’s stunning victory in the Sussex Stakes (Gr1) at Goodwood UK, on Wednesday, champion trainer Henry Cecil glowed that he was the best racehorse he’d known. He said he’d witnessed the great miler, Blushing Groom and the herculean efforts of Shergar, but he wasn’t around for the great match races between Tudor Minstrel and the best of his era. In his view, Frankel surpasses the lot, and he wasn’t surprised by his 5 length margin of victory (over a horse who was going for his third consecutive Group One).
Eleven-times champion South African jockey, Michael Roberts, who also taught the British to ride when he won their championship in 1989, reflected at dinner Thursday evening on Frankel’s performance, and remembered the other top class front runners of years gone by, Reference Point and Slip Anchor (both of whom won the English Derby end-to-end), and his thoughts were simple. The difference between those horses, as effective as they were and Frankel, is that they simply ground their opposition down, while Frankel does that ambling along on the front end, and then he finds gear-after-gear. He doubts he’s ever seen anything comparable himself, and he’s been around a few.
Click above to watch Frankel winning the Sussex Stakes (G1)…
(Image : Daily Record - Footage : Racing UK)
QIPCO SUSSEX STAKES (Group 1)
Goodwood, Turf, 1600m
27 July 2011
Just a month ago, after his commanding victory over in the one mile Queen Anne Stakes (Gr1) over the nine time Group One winning filly, Goldikova, Richard Hannon’sCanford Cliffs was hailed as the “Emperor” of European milers, a view that was hammered home by Frankel’s somewhat sub-par performance in the three-year-old version of the same event at the same meeting, the St James Palace Stakes (Gr1), in which he came closest to being defeated for the first time in his career, by a previously unheralded performer. With the renewal of the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood for the 133rd time since its inauguration in 1878, Canford Cliffs was most people’s idea of the most likely horse to lower Frankel’s colours for the first time.
Yet such was the faith in this hitherto seven-times unbeaten three-year-old, he still went off at prohibitive odds-on. Coolmore Stud’s gamble of a substantial investment in Canford Cliffs towards the end of last season, appeared to have paid off as he approached the start with his usual professionalism, and in an exchange of messages with our old pal, Dr. Barry Clements, Down Under, a bit of sparring was triggered when he ventured a prediction of a three length victory for Frankel, with us countering it would be Canford Cliffs by two.
In the end, we all got it wrong, as Frankel romped away by a staggering five, suggesting that he may well be the best miler the world has seen in several decades. He joins an August honour roll of the Sussex’s recent winners, including the colossi Giant’s Causeway, Rock Of Gibraltar, Noverre, Ramonti, Henrythenavigator and Rip Van Winkle.
It’s easy to get carried away with superlatives in a situation like this, but this is a helluva horse, and following on the consummate victory by Galileo’s son, Nathaniel, in Saturday’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Gr1) at Ascot, this was a whole clutch of feathers in the burgeoning Galileo cap. Let’s not forget, earlier this month, Igugu pretty much guaranteed her place as this year’s Horse Of The Year in South Africa, with her surging victory in the Vodacom Durban July (Gr1), and that the progeny of Galileo have already dominated the European Classics to an unprecedented degree.
Word-spinners are always eager for a good story, but it would not be stretching things too far, even at this relatively early stage, to draw comparisons between Galileo and his own illustrious sire, Sadler’s Wells (hitherto unchallenged as the greatest sire in European history, measured by his stallion championships), and it may even be possible (as unthinkable as it might be,) that Galileo could stake his claim to immortality by surpassing Sadler’s Wells’ 14 titles.