Sussex Stakes preview: Poetic Flare can see off strong rivals at Goodwood
Day two of Glorious Goodwood promises to be action-packed with the biggest race of the meeting, the £1-million Qatar Sussex Stakes, taking centre stage as some of the best milers on the planet do battle in the Duel on the Downs.
The seven-race card gets under way at 1.50pm and culminates at 5.20pm. Rain played a part in testing ground conditions on day one of the meeting, so beware the weather forecast. We have previewed the action with our race by race guide with tips for Glorious Goodwood day two from OLBG.
1.50pm Handicap (1m 4f)
A fascinating contest to kick things off. Pied Piper is an interesting runners for Her Majesty The Queen having finished a good third on his return to handicap at Newmarket last time out, whilst King’s Prince has won two of his three starts and was not disgraced at Hamilton in a Listed event last time out. However, the unexposed Kolisi gets the vote. He took another step forward when scoring at Salisbury in June in good style and whilst he is now pitched into handicap company, he looks thoroughly unexposed and open to plenty of improvement.
2.25pm G3 Oak Tree Stakes (7f)
Lots of talented fillies’ and mares in this event, including Sacred who won the Nell Gwyn on her first start this term, before shaping better than the bare results suggests when seventh at Newmarket last time out. She is towards the head of the shortlist along with Agincourt who was second in Listed company at Pontefract last time out and the progressive Highfield Princess. Onassis and Isabella Giles both boast course and distance winning form and are others to note along with the unexposed duo of Meu Amor and Star Of Emaraaty. Lavender’s Blue is another who could improve, whilst Valeria Messalini is another progressive type who could come into the equation.
3.00pm G3 Molecomb Stakes (5f)
This looks an interesting battle between Chipotle and Fearboy. Chipotle landed the Windsor Castle Stakes on his penultimate start and then had no luck in running when ninth in the Super Sprint at Newbury. Granted a clear run, he has to be top of the shortlist. Fearby is a fascinating runner having won his last two starts, including when scoring by five lengths in Listed company at Sandown last time out. Kaboo and Armor are others to note.
3.35pm G1 Sussex Stakes (1m)
The feature race of the meeting and one in which Poetic Flare makes plenty of appeal for his 79-year-old trainer/breeder Jim Bolger. The three-year-old has already tasted success in the 2000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes this term, the latter win demonstrating his stunning turn of foot. He sets a high standard and should prove very hard to beat. Testing ground would be a slight concern, but he still looks the class horse in the race. His main rivals include Order Of Australia for Aidan O’Brien who returned to winning ways at the Curragh last time out, his stable companion and Queen Anne Stakes second Lope Y Fernandez and recent Summer Mile hero Tilsit who also boasts winning form at this track. Other fascinating runners include the three-year-old fillies Snow Lantern and Alcohol Free who were first and third respectively in the Falmouth Stakes last time out.
Selection: Poetic Flare
4.10pm Alice Keppel EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes (5f)
An interesting event. Flotus was a stunning winner at the track on debut, but has ultimately proved disappointing in two runs since. Illustrating was not disgraced when seventh in the Queen Mary and is another to note along with the progressive Frankella. However, Canonized looks the one to beat. A winner of three of her five starts, that included a victory at Goodwood in April. A dual winner at Windsor recently, she can continue her upward progression with victory here.
4.45pm Premier Fillies’ Handicap (1m 2f)
Timeless Soul is thoroughly unexposed, but was only third in a novice event at Thirsk last time out. Achelois has won two of her last three starts and is another who has to be respected. However, Seattle Rock brings solid form to the table, including a second in Listed company at Sandown earlier this month. Third in Group company at last year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival, she is taken to land this event at the expense of Percy’s Pride who has won her last two starts in good style.
Selection: Seattle Rock
5.20pm World Pool Handicap (7f)
A tricky conclusion to the card in which course and distance winner Tintoretto has to be high on the shortlist. However, the verdict goes to Sunset Breeze who returned to form when second last time out at Newcastle and is fancied to find the necessary improvement to win the finale. Others to note include top-weight Fox Champion and Internationaldream who has hinted at a return to form of late.
Selection: Sunset Breeze