Runner-by-runner guide to the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood

Tue 1 Aug 2017

By Tom Peacock

1 HERE COMES WHEN

Trainer: Andrew Balding

General odds: 50-1

Fine old campaigner who ran one of his best races when fourth behind Solow in this race two years ago. Did win a Listed handicap at York in May but it could not be argued he is a better horse nowadays and he is an easy one to overlook.

2 KOOL COMPANY

Trainer: Richard Hannon

General odds: 50-1

Returned to his old stable less than a year ago after an underwhelming time in Australia with Chris Waller, a decision which was rewarded by a Doncaster Mile win. That form is not good enough here, and neither is anything he has shown subsequently.

3 LIGHTNING SPEAR

Trainer: David Simcock

General odds: 20-1

So often there or thereabouts in this grade, again when chasing home Ribchester in the Lockinge. Forgiven his last run when stepped up in distance for the Eclipse and does like the course. Surely, though, another supporting role is the best that can be hoped for.

Royal Ascot - Day One - Ascot Racecourse

Ribchester has already won the Lockinge and Queen Anne this year

4 RIBCHESTER

Trainer: Richard Fahey

General odds: 10-11

The standout performer among older milers as advertised by wins in the Lockinge and Queen Anne. He even likes the track, having been involved in the tight finish here 12 months ago. Better this year and versatile on ground, his credentials are watertight.

5 TOSCANINI

Trainer: Richard Fahey

General odds: 100-1

Ribchester’s pacemaker - even if he has not obeyed instructions on every occasion - he looks here simply to maintain the gallop and drop away once his duties are completed.

6 ZELZAL

Trainer: Jean-Claude Rouget

General odds: 8-1

Not seen much since winning the Prix Jean Prat last summer, but he made a striking reappearance a few weeks ago when making giant strides in behind stablemate Taareef, who has boosted the form since. A good show will be expected considering he represents the meeting’s sponsors and the inclusion of Frankie Dettori is helpful.

7 ZONDERLAND

Trainer: Clive Cox

General odds: 33-1

Likeable customer but a little concerning not to have seen him so far this year and his chance will be hindered by any further rain. Not inconceivable that he can bridge the gap to Group One level, but the suspicion is that it will not be on this occasion.

Curragh Races - Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas Raceday

Churchill needs to bounce back from a below-par run at Royal Ascot

8 CHURCHILL

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

General odds: 7-4

Four Group One wins testify to this colt’s calibre and he receives a 7lb weight allowance from Ribchester, which will encourage many, but reappears after a lacklustre effort in the St James’s Palace Stakes. He was probably due a short break but there could be a concern that others have caught him up.

9 LANCASTER BOMBER

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

General odds: 16-1

Technically Churchill’s pacemaker but a far better horse than just that, as he showed when clinging on to second behind Barney Roy at Royal Ascot. Opposing jockeys need to keep their wits about them otherwise he might slip away on a track like this

Verdict A cracking contest and one that looks more than another lazily-titled ‘duel on the downs’, as much as Ribchester and Churchill are the headline acts. Of that pair, RIBCHESTER looks much the safest option, as he has had a carefully planned campaign and we know he will have no issues with the track. At 8-1, though, Zelzal is the most interesting alternative to the odds-on favourite, as he looks like he has been brought to the boil at the right time.

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