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Top trio could meet again in the £1.1 million QEII

3 Aug 2016

First three home in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood could clash again on Champions Day

Galileo Gold, The Gurkha and Ribchester could lock horns again on QIPCO British Champions Day. Picture: Racingfotos.com

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With prize money of £1.1 million on offer, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO is the richest mile race in Europe.

It has attracted 40 entries (four more than in 2015), including The Gurkha, Galileo Gold and Ribchester, who fought out a thrilling finish to the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last week.

The Gurkha prevailed by a neck from Galileo Gold, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace winner, on that occasion but many observers felt that Ribchester, who was a short head further back in third, would have upstaged the pair of them had he not had to switch to get a run.

“It was a fantastic race and Ribchester ran a blinder,” said Richard Fahey, trainer of the colt who had previously won the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“I’ve looked at the race a few times since and nobody did anything wrong – it’s Goodwood and you need a bit of luck there. He’s progressing all the time and has come out of the race in good order. The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is obviously a race we are all keen on.

“For his next run we are looking at the Prix Jacques le Marois (at Deauville on August 14), or he could go back to Goodwood for the Celebration Mile [on August 27]. We will see how he is this week and make a decision closer to the time.”

On the prospect of meeting The Gurkha and Galileo Gold again in mid-October, Fahey said: “I’m not saying we would beat them, but you wouldn’t be afraid to take them on again.”


Belardo
and Gabrial, who filled the places behind Solow in last year’s running, are entered again. The former won the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May and was runner-up to Tepin in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.


Minding
has been given the option of dropping back to a mile, while Qemah, winner of the Coronation Stakes and Prix Rothschild on her past two starts, is among five possible French challengers.


Another exciting entry is Mutakayyef, who beat Dutch Connection, the subsequent easy Qatar Lennox Stakes winner, in emphatic style in the Group 2 Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes over a mile at Ascot last month.


“He’s in great form and likely to go for the Juddmonte next,” William Haggas, the trainer of Mutakayyef, said. “I’m not sure it is going to suit him but he gets the trip alright and there isn’t a lot else for him – he can’t run in the Jacques le Marois or the Prix du Moulin because he’s been gelded.

“We’ve put him in both the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champion Stakes to give us the two options. We’ll see what happens.”

Full list of entries:

  1. Adaay (IRE)
  2. Alice Springs (IRE)
  3. Arod (IRE)
  4. Awtaad (IRE)
  5. Ballydoyle (IRE)
  6. Barchan (USA)
  7. Belardo (IRE)
  8. Breton Rock (IRE)
  9. Charming Thought (GB)
  10. Cougar Mountain (IRE)
  11. Daily Bulletin (USA)
  12. Deauville (IRE)
  13. Dicton (GB)
  14. Dutch Connection (GB)
  15. Endless Drama (IRE)
  16. Ervedya (FR)
  17. Franklin D (USA)
  18. Galileo Gold (GB)
  19. Hathal (USA)
  20. Hit It A Bomb (USA)
  21. Johannes Vermeer (IRE)
  22. Knife Edge (IRE)
  23. Latharnach (USA)
  24. Lightning Spear (GB)
  25. Long Island Sound (USA)
  26. Massaat (IRE)
  27. Minding (IRE)
  28. Mitchum Swagger (GB)
  29. Mutakayyef (GB)
  30. Qemah (IRE)
  31. Reckless Gold (IRE)
  32. Ribchester (IRE)
  33. Stormy Antarctic (GB)
  34. The Gurkha (IRE)
  35. Thikriyaat (IRE)
  36. Toormore (IRE)
  37. Vadamos (FR)
  38. Zawraq (IRE)
  39. Zelzal (FR)
  40. Zonderland (GB)