Gosden hopes unbeaten star can land him another Sussex Stakes

Beat The Bank wins at last year's Glorious - can he follow up that success with a Sussex Stakes victory? Picture by Malcolm Wells
Beat The Bank wins at last year's Glorious - can he follow up that success with a Sussex Stakes victory? Picture by Malcolm Wells

Ante-post favourite Without Parole heads eight declared runners for one of Europe's premier all-aged mile races, the Group One Qatar Sussex Stakes (3.35pm) at Goodwood on day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Wednesday.

Without Parole (John Gosden/Andrea Atzeni) is unbeaten in four career starts so far and last time out enjoyed his first G1 triumph in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, when he defeated Gustav Klimt (Aidan O'Brien IRE/Ryan Moore) by a half-length.

Expert Eye (Sir Michael Stoute/James Doyle), owned and bred by Khalid Abdullah, was supplemented at a cost of £70,000 on July 26, bringing the total prize fund for the Qatar Sussex Stakes to £1,059,250 - the richest in its illustrious history.

Expert Eye was one of the most impressive winners of 2017 Qatar Goodwood Festival, taking the G2 Qatar Vintage Stakes by four and a half lengths, and looked right back to his best when scoring by the same margin in the 2018 G3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, both over seven furlongs.

The three-year-olds, successful in 11 of the last 18 renewals of the Qatar Sussex Stakes, are completed this year by lightly-raced French challenger Orbaan (Andre Fabre FR/Silvestre de Sousa). The Invincible Spirit colt got off the mark at the second attempt in a maiden at Maisons-Laffitte in May before defeating British raider Red Mist in a mile Listed race at Saint-Cloud on July 1.

Ted Voute, racing manager to Orbaan's owner Prince A A Faisal, said today: "Orbaan has been drawn in stall eight for the Sussex Stakes, but I don't think that should make a difference given the size of the field.

"The ground will be to his liking, I hope it will be good to firm. Andre Fabre told me that the horse worked very well during his latest piece of work.

"It is fingers crossed. It is a big leap from winning a Listed race in France to the Sussex Stakes but there are not many opportunities for him.

"There was the option of the G3 Bohmans Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood on Friday. We tossed and turned about whether to go for that race or the Sussex Stakes. We thought that there would only be eight or nine runners in the Sussex Stakes and both Prince Faisal and Andre Fabre wanted to take a chance and see what happens.

"Orbaan has been an interesting horse in that he didn't run at two. Andre Fabre has always thought highly of him and he was entered up in G1 contests earlier in the year but each time he could have run, the ground would not have been to his liking.

"The one thing the horse does not like is soft ground - he has never worked very well on it at home. He wants good racing ground and that looks like what Goodwood will have on Wednesday."

Andrew Balding saddles Beat The Bank (Jim Crowley) as the Kingsclere trainer goes after back-to-back victories in the Qatar Sussex Stakes following the shock win of Here Comes When 12 months ago. Beat The Bank defeated Lord Glitters (David O'Meara/Danny Tudhope) by a neck in the G2 Summer Mile at Ascot on July 14 and won the G3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at last year's Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Lord Glitters, who finished second in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on his penultimate start, is one of two potential runners for trainer David O'Meara. StablemateSo Beloved (Adam Kirby), who took second in the G2 Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, earlier this month, has also been declared.

O'Meara explained today: "Lord Glitters has come out of Ascot fine and we are happy with him.

"The three-year-olds in the Qatar Sussex Stakes look very good, particularly Without Parole, Gustav Klimt and Expert Eye.

"Any rain that comes will help the chances of Lord Glitters, but to be honest if there is firm in the going description, we will have to think about whether we run or not.

"So Beloved is well and will probably run in the G2 Qatar Lennox Stakes the day before (Tuesday, July 31). We have declared him just in case there are significant going changes, as there are thunderstorms about."

G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes runner-up Lightning Spear (David Simcock/Oisin Murphy), twice a winner of the G2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood's August Bank Holiday Weekend, completes the eight declared runners.

The Qatar Sussex Stakes is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

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* Listed Windsor Castle Stakes victor Soldier's Call (Archie Watson/Danny Tudhope) is one of 11 declared runners in the other Pattern race of the day, the £75,000 G3 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes (3.00pm) for two-year-olds over five furlongs.

The field also features G2 Norfolk Stakes fourth Rumble Inthejungle (Richard Spencer/Tom Queally) and Vintage Brut (Tim Easterby/David Allan), winner of the Listed National Stakes at Sandown Park in May.

* The highlight at the Qatar Goodwood Festival on the fifth and final day, Saturday, August 4, is the £250,000 Unibet Stewards' Cup over six furlongs, for which 93 horses remain engaged. Weights for the famous heritage handicap are topped by G3 winner Gifted Master (Hugo Palmer) on 9st 11lb.

Others to note include 2017 winner Lancelot Du Lac (Dean Ivory, 9st 5lb) and 2016 scorerDancing Star (Andrew Balding, 8st 9lb). The last dual winner of the Unibet Stewards' Cup was Sky Diver in 1967 and 1968.

Wokingham Handicap victor Bacchus (Brian Meehan, 9st 10lb) and Spring Loaded (Paul D'Arcy, 9st) also go forward.

A maximum of 28 runners can line up in the Unibet Stewards' Cup. Those that do not make the cut have the option of the consolation race, the Qatar Stewards' Sprint Handicap (1.50pm), the opening race on Saturday.

Connections of Unibet Stewards' Cup contenders select their own draw positions during an event staged at Goodwood Racecourse on Thursday, August 2.

Saturday's other highlight, the £150,000 G3 Qatar Gordon Stakes (3.00pm), a leading trial for the St Leger and won last year by Crystal Ocean, has reopened for entries until 11am tomorrow, Tuesday, July 31.

The Qatar Goodwood Festival gets under way tomorrow, Tuesday, July 31, when the highlight is the £500,000 G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup (3.35pm) over two miles.

The field of seven is headed by Stradivarius (John Gosden/Andrea Atzeni), winner of the race last year and successful last time out in the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, when he had the re-opposing Torcedor (Jessica Harrington IRE/Colm O'Donoghue) back in third.

Owned and bred by Bjorn Nielsen, Stradivarius is chasing the WH Stayers' Million, a bonus of £1-million offered by Weatherbys Hamilton which goes to the horse who wins one of four prep races in May followed by the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup and the G2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes at York on August 24. Stradivarius won a prep race, the 14-furlong G2 Yorkshire Cup at York in May, before taking a thrilling renewal of the G1 Gold Cup at the Royal Meeting in June.

The Queen has succeeded as an owner in the Qatar Goodwood Cup twice before, courtesy of the back-to-back winners Apprentice (1965) and Gaulois (1966). There is a Royal runner in tomorrow's contest with Call To Mind (William Haggas/James Doyle), who has winning form at Goodwood having captured the Listed March Stakes in August, 2017.

The four-year-old Galileo colt finished third to Stradivarius at York and landed the biggest win of his career last time out when succeeding in the G2 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Stakes over two miles at Belmont Park, USA, on June 8.

The Qatar Goodwood Cup forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Tomorrow's seven-race card also includes the £312,000 G2 Qatar Lennox Stakes (3.00pm, 12 runners). The previous two latest winners of the contest - Breton Rock (David Simcock/Martin Harley, the 2017 winner) and Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills/James Doyle, the 2016 winner) - are set to line up again.

The QIPCO 2000 Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win (Roger Teal/David Probert) represents the best of the three-year-olds, while last year's G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes hero Here Comes When (Andrew Balding/Jim Crowley) also goes to post.

Tomorrow's top two-year-old race is the £200,000 G2 Qatar Vintage Stakes (2.25pm, 12 runners). The market for the seven-furlong contest is headed by Confiding (Martyn Meade/Callum Shepherd), a hugely-impressive winner on debut at Newbury on June 14.

Ground

The going at Goodwood is currently: Good, Good to Firm in places on the Round Course.

Ed Arkell, Clerk of the Course at Goodwood, said today: "The rain over the weekend has been extremely welcome.

"We had 18.3mm yesterday and a further 1.1mm overnight. We have now gone to Good ground. It is the easy side of Good ground, but still Good ground. There are just some Good to Firm patches out on the Round Course.

"It is dry at the moment and there is the chance of some sunny spells later today. There is the chance of another shower this evening, and then conditions should be dry, sunny and increasingly warm as the week progresses."

There was five also millimetres of rain during the evening of Friday (July 27) and overnight. The top and bottom bends and the straight are dolled out initially. The plan is to provide fresh ground in the straight on Thursday and for the top and bottom bends on Friday.