The Group One Qatar Sussex Stakes is one of the highlights of the five-day Glorious Goodwood Festival and run each year on the Wednesday – the second day. Run over a trip of one mile and open to horses aged three or older, then it’s a chance for racing fans to see that season’s Classic generation strut their stuff against the older horses.
In recent years the Sussex Stakes has been billed ‘The Duel On The Downs’ with several key head-to-head clashes and it could be more of the same in 2018 as recent Royal Ascot winners – Without Parole and Expert Eye – lock horns.
With the three-year-olds also receiving a ‘weight-for-age’ allowance of seven pounds from the older horses then it’s no surprise we’ve seen seven of the last ten winners aged three.
Twelve months ago we saw the Andrew Balding-trained Here Comes When spring a surprise 20/1 win and the yard will be trying to follow-up this year with a horse called Beat The Bank, who was a good winner at this meeting last year too. It’s also been a good contest for leading Irish handler – Aidan O’Brien – with five wins in the race – the last of those came in 2016 but anything he runs should always be respected.
Our Sussex Stakes Tips can help you find the winner of the race.
To help pin-point the winner of the 2018 Sussex Stakes we are on-hand with some useful key trends and statistics – use these to find the best profiles of past winners.
There are always many trends to apply to each race but to keep things simple we’ve picked out four standout stats and applied these to the main 2018 Sussex Stakes runners. We hope they help you find the winner!
- 16 of the last 17 winners finished first or second last time out
- 15 of the last 17 winners had won over one mile before
- 14 of the last 17 winners had won at least four times before
- 12 of the last 17 winners ran at Royal Ascot last time out
Trends – Key Runners
Without Parole ✅✅✅✅
Expert Eye ✅❌❌✅
Beat The Bank ✅✅✅❌
Gustav Klimt ❌❌❌❌
Lightning Spear ❌✅✅✅
Lord Glitters ✅✅✅❌
One of this season’s big talking horses has been the John Gosden-trained Without Parole and so far, this well-bred Frankel colt hasn’t let his supporters down. He made it four wins, from four last time out in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and there is every reason to think there is more to come. Okay, he’s not been winning his races in the flashy style that his dad (Frankel) used to, but has been showing a very willing attitude in a finish, which in itself is a huge asset. This will be his first run at Goodwood so we’ll have to see how he handles the track but there are no obvious reasons why it wouldn’t suit. Looking at our key trends, he also gets a ‘thumbs-up’ for all four after winning last time out, running at Royal Ascot most recently, having won at least four times and also over this mile trip. He’s actually the only one of the main runners that does get a trends clean sweep. There’s also every chance he’ll go off favourite and with ten of the last seventeen market leaders winning that’s a further plus, while eleven of the last seventeen (65%) were also proven Group One winners, which is another feather in his cap. It really is hard to find fault in his claims as he also gets a handy seven pounds from the older horses, but those looking for a slight negative may cling to the fact his regular jockey – Frankie Dettori – isn’t riding due to suspension. However, connections have drafted in Andrea Atzeni, who is a pilot the Gosden team often use in big races when Frankie isn’t available so really it’s difficult to see this a negative. He’s yet to race on ground softer than ‘good’ so if there is any significant rain this would be an unknown, but the forecast is for the weather to brighten up so there is every chance he’ll get the quicker ground that he’s proven on. He looks a big player.
The main challenger to Without Parole – if the betting is anything to go by – is the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Expert Eye. This three-year-old shot to fame after romping away with the Group Two Vintage Stakes at this meeting last year and was billed to go right to the top. However, he since flopped in the Dewhurst and also the 2000 Guineas so it looked as if his bubble was well and truly burst. The Stoute team were patient with him and they managed to rekindle that old form last time out at Royal Ascot when romping away with the Jersey Stakes. As a result of that success he is now a big fancy for this race. We know the track suits but despite having only tried this one-mile trip once (10th in the 2000 Guineas) he’s yet to win over it and with a massive 88% of the last seventeen winners having won over mile before this is the first of our trends he falls down on. If our trends are to be trusted, then with just three career wins he’s also not won enough times – fourteen of the last seventeen winners had at least four victories under their belts. Yes, being a three-year-old then he’s another that will get seven pounds off the older horses but being he’s yet to win over a mile and also at this Group One level then he does have a few questions to answer based on the stats.
As mentioned, the Andrew Balding yard won this race last year and in Beat The Bank they have a fair chance of backing that success up. This four-year-old ticks three of our four main trends, with only having not raced at Royal Ascot last time out as the one he falls down on. Having said that, he did run at the Royal Meeting this year – just not last time out! He was sixth in the Queen Anne Stakes back in June but has since improved on that effort when winning the Summer Mile at the Berkshire track. Therefore, that negative trends has to be taken with a pinch of salt and after proving himself at this meeting last year with an easy three length Group Three win then we know he loves this place. He can often take a keen hold in his races but providing there is some pace in the race then we can expect him to be seen late on the scene. It won’t be easy having to give seven pounds away to some promising three-year-olds but he still ticks a lot of the main trends.
It’s a race that trainer Aidan O’Brien has won five times and he’ll be looking to make it six with this three-year-old Gustav Klimt. Rated just a pound lower than Without Parole then his chance is a decent one too. He was only half a length back in second to that Gosden horse in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot so if running to that form would have every chance. He’s since only managed third in the Group One Prix Jean Prat in France so based on that would need to bounce back though. The trends suggest he’s also got a bit to find as he actually falls down on ALL four! Yes, the Ryan Moore and O’Brien factor mean he’ll have his supporters but the fact he’s yet to win over a mile from four tries would probably be the biggest concern.
Lightning Spear is still going strong at the age of seven years-old and has shown this season he retains plenty of ability after going close in both the Lockinge Stakes (second) and Queen Anne Stakes (third). His Group One placed form makes him a decent alternative to the main two in the market but with just one win from his last eleven races he’s not an easy horse to win with. On a plus, he was third in this race last year and sixth in 2016, while his overall Goodwood track record is decent – from four runs, he’s won twice. He also has positives in three of our four trends, with having not finished in the top two last time out as the only negative. He is, however, yet to win at Group One level from fifteen tries so, it goes without saying, that would be a big worry for his supporters.
The final horse to note is Lord Glitters. This five-year-old is one of the most consistent horses in training and is sure to be popular with place backers again here. From twelve career runs on the turf he’s yet to finish out of the first two – winning four. The latest of those top-two runs was a neck runner-up to Beat The Bank in the Summer Mile at Ascot and meeting on the same terms suggests there will be little between the two again. Prior to that he was another close second – this time in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. Our trends also give him a similar make-up to Beat The Bank as the only one he falls down on is having not raced at Royal Ascot last time out – but, like the Balding horse, he did run at the meeting, just not last time out. He’s another that likes to come late on the scene and has won over further than this mile trip so if able to keep tabs on the field during the first half of the race there is every chance we’ll see this one rewarding place backers once again.
Every Glorious Goodwood race covered live on ITV can be found on our Goodwood Tips page with runner by runner previews for each contest.