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Qatar Sussex Stakes battles!

24 Jul 2015

With the Qatar Goodwood Festival fast approaching, we thought we’d reminisce about the Qatar Sussex Stakes contests from the past few seasons.

Frankel steals the show at Goodwood. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

With the Qatar Goodwood Festival fast approaching, we thought we’d reminisce about the Qatar Sussex Stakes contests from past few seasons.

Let us take you back to when Frankel, Toronado and Kingman proved to be the kings of the Goodwood Downs.

Frankel v Canford Cliffs (2011)

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Billed as one of the races of the century, the legendary Frankel was astonishingly quoted at odds-against in the ante post markets by some bookmakers. We know, crazy right?

After winning the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at a canter and claiming Royal Ascot glory in the St James’s Palace Stakes, now was the time for Sir Henry Cecil’s superstar to take on the older generations.

His main rival – the incredibly gifted miler, Canford Cliffs.

A previous winner of the Sussex Stakes, and already the victor in that season’s Lockinge Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes, Richard Hannon’s stable icon was undoubtedly the best contender Frankel had faced up to this point in his career.

It promised to be the spectacle of a generation. It duly delivered.

With Frankel and Canford Cliffs both poised heading around the bend, it was left to a straight battle between the pair to the line.

Unbowed by early pressure from his rival, Frankel edged ahead with two furlongs to go before delivering, in front of a packed Goodwood crowd, his famous electrifying pace.

With Canford Cliffs hanging on the track, later to be found due to injury, the son of Galileo galloped past the line with his name forever etched as one of racing’s ultimate champions.

He came and he conquered.

Dawn Approach v Toronado (2013)

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With a match record of two races and two wins for Dawn Approach, the Godolphin-owned QIPCO 2000 Guineas champion was the clear favourite to win the clash on the Sussex Downs.

However, discard a Richard Hannon Snr superstar at your peril!

Toronado’s no-show in the Newmarket British Classic was put down to a dislocated soft palate, but he bounced back in admirable fashion with a narrow head-bobbing defeat at Royal Ascot.

However, the Sussex Stakes would be the race of his life and, under Goodwood specialist Richard Hughes, he showed his class.

Swooping fast and late under an ultra-confident ride, Toronado saw off the determined effort of Dawn Approach to clinch victory.

Emotional connections were finally justified in their confidence for the superstar.

Kingman v Toronado (2014)

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Goodwood was the place that Kingman really demonstrated his capabilities on the track. Not only as the star of a season, but as a mile superstar of a generation.

In Toronado, you had the previous year’s Sussex Stakes champion and the reigning Queen Anne Stakes winner.

Despite his achievements, Hannon’s warrior was the clear second favourite behind the odds-on Kingman.

Unlucky in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas when a narrow second to Night of Thunder, John Gosden’s colt would gain redemption with a scintillating St James’s Palace Stakes win at Royal Ascot.

However, whatever he achieved at Ascot was no match for his display at Goodwood.

Even with Toronado gaining a huge advantage down the hill, Kingman’s late burst of speed astonished racing fans.

With less than a furlong to go, the James Doyle-ridden three-year-old cruised past his rival in a matter of strides and sparkled in the glorious Goodwood sunshine.

He was the king of Downs!