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Solow lands Qatar Sussex Stakes to extend winning run

29 Jul 2015

French superstar Solow justified his star billing by landing the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes.

Solow Sussex Stakes

Solow (grey) digs deep to win the Sussex Stakes. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com

A winner of his four previous starts this season, including the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, Solow was sent off as a heavily-supported 2/5 favourite to add the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes to his burgeoning prize haul, and he didn’t disappoint, passing the post half a length clear of the gallant Arod. The veteran Gabrial, who finished third of four to Frankel in the 2012 running of the Sussex Stakes, ran well to finish a never-threatening third.

As Arod – running in the colours of Qatar Racing – tacked over from his wide draw to cut out the running, Maxime Guyon positioned Solow on the tail of the leader, keen not to give the in-form pace setter an easy time of things. Favourite backers would have been momentarily worried when Guyon had to shake the reins inside the final couple of furlongs as Arod refused to wilt, but Solow was soon in control and ultimately won with a bit in hand.

Winning rider Guyon once again reaffirmed his belief that Solow was the best horse he has ridden. “He is unbelievable. He’s won four Group 1s this year. I think he is the best horse in my career”.

Freddy Head, whose name has been associated with some of the greatest names in racing such as Miesque and Goldikova, believes that Solow may have kept a bit in reserve: “He’s getting lazy with age but does exactly what he needs to. His next start will be in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October.”

Solow arrived at Goodwood with a Timeform master rating of 130, a figure which made him the highest-rated older horse in Europe. In winning the Qatar Sussex Stakes from a seemingly-improved, in-form rival, it is likely that Solow had to run to something like his best, while Arod produced a career-best effort in defeat and emerged with his reputation enhanced.

Racing fans will be hoping that Aidan O’Brien’s crack three-year-old miler Gleneagles joins Solow on Champions Day as a clash between the two high-class horses – who are evenly matched on Timeform ratings – could be a magnificent spectacle.