Races don’t come much bigger than the Sussex Stakes which is the prize event at the five day long Glorious Goodwood festival. The centrepiece race has long wowed the crowd at the South Downs racecourse, currently taking place on the second day of the meeting.
Some truly great horses have been crowned champion of this prestigious event since it’s 1841 inception, perhaps no more so than the first ever two-time winner Frankel. The Sir Henry Cecil trained star won his first Sussex stakes in 2011 when he defeated Canford Cliffs by 5 lengths, returning 12 months later to win by 6 lengths as the 1/20 favourite.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 29th July 2020
- Winner: Mohaather
- SP: 3/1
- Trainer: Marcus Tregoning
- Jockey: Jim Crowley
1m is the trip for the Group 1 highlight on Day 2 at Glorious Goodwood, with the race offering total prize money of £275,000 this year. The going at the track is currently described as good.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good||1m||Group 1||£275,000||7 Runners||1/4 1-2|
Sussex Stakes Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
Initially a three year olds-only event, this race was opened to four year olds in 1960 and those aged five and older in 1975. It has nevertheless been the younger brigade who have continued to dominate matters, with three year olds coming out on top in 42 of the 60 editions to have been held since that 1960 edition.
Aidan O’Brien is the most successful of the trainers represented in this year’s field having registered a total of five previous wins in the race. Things have dried up a little for O’Brien of late though with the 2016 success of The Gurkha being his only win in the past decade.
The market has tended to get this race right more often than not, with seven favourites getting the job done in the last 10 years. That is obviously a very solid strike rate, but with those winners returning an array of very short prices - including Frankel’s victory at odds of just 1/20 in 2012 - supporters of the jolly would have registered a level stakes profit of only +£1.50 over this period. Where is the value this year?
|Siskin||9/4||116||Ger Lyons||Colin Keane|
|Mohaather||11/4||120||Marcus Tregoning||Jim Crowley|
Siskin – 9/4
We have a pretty even split of runners this year, with three four year olds, and four three year olds making up the seven-runner field. English 2000 Guineas winner Kameko, together with Wichita and Vatican City, all look to be strong challengers from the younger contenders, but the pick of the three year olds - according to both the market and the ratings - is Irish raider, Siskin.
This has already been some year for County Meath handler Ger Lyons, with the Irish ace having landed both the Irish 2000 Guineas and Oaks, and he may well add still further to that success here with his Guineas hero, Siskin.
Sporting the Khaled Abdullah colours made so famous by the mighty Frankel, who landed back to back renewals of this in 2011 and 2012, this son of First Defence has won each of his first five career starts to date with the minimum of fuss.
A completely different sort of horse to the mighty Frankel, Siskin tends to employ a stalk and pounce style, and so far nothing has been able to match his burst of acceleration inside the final furlong. This does undoubtedly look to be his toughest assignment to date, but jockey Colin Keane is happy to accept two weeks in quarantine in order to take the ride, and there will be plenty who believe his sacrifice may be well rewarded.
Mohaather – 11/4
As strong as the three year old challenge is, the older runners in the line-up certainly shouldn’t be dismissed, with Circus Maximus and Mohaather in particular making plenty of appeal. Aidan O’Brien’s Circus Maximus always seems to be underestimated, and merits plenty of respect having landed the Queen Anne Stakes and finished a narrow second in this event 12 months ago. However, it may just be Marcus Tregoning’s Mohaather who boasts the strongest claims of upsetting the Classic generation this year.
Four from seven in his career to date, the only really poor performance from this son of Acclamation came when not handling the heavy ground in the Queen Elizabeth II stakes at Ascot on his final start last season. Making his seasonal return in the Queen Anne Stakes won by Circus Maximus in June, he was unfavoured in being held up in a race where it paid to be up with the pace, and endured something of a nightmare passage when attempting to weave his way through.
He did nevertheless hit the line full of running in seventh, suggesting that his turn may soon be near. Dropped down to Group 2 company at that same track last time out in the Summer Mile, he duly delivered in fairly emphatic style. Travelling like a dream around the outside that day, he cruised to the front before quickening away in the style of a really smart performer. That wasn’t far off being the best performance by any British or Irish miler so far this season and, if repeating it, he looks likely to at least be involved in the finish here.
Sussex Stakes Winners
|2020||Mohaather||3/1||Marcus Tregoning||Jim Crowley|
|2019||Too Darn Hot||Evens||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2018||Lightning Spear||9/1||Oisin Murphy||David Simcock|
|2017||Here Comes When||20/1||Andrew Balding||Jim Crowley|
|2016||The Gurkha||11/8||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2015||Solow||2/5||Freddy Head||Maxime Guyon|
|2014||Kingman||2/5||John Gosden||James Doyle|
|2013||Toronado||11/4||Richard Hannon Sr.||Richard Hughes|
|2012||Frankel||1/20||Sir Henry Cecil||Tom Queally|
|2011||Frankel||8/13||Sir Henry Cecil||Tom Queally|
About the Sussex Stakes
Standing as Glorious Goodwood’s most prized asset is the Sussex Stakes. Formerly in the shadows of the Goodwood Cup and the Stewards’ Cup, the one mile race has long claimed the title of being the most prestigious event of the five-day festival. The Group 1 event has a list of winners fitting for a race of such high-standing with some famous names among those who have triumphed in more recent decades.
Considering its reputation now, the Sussex Stakes has undergone quite the transformation. Although it has a long history dating back to 1841, the race, which was initially a sprint for two-year-olds, featured only intermittently during its early years. On 25 occasions the race went uncontested, with 14 of these being walkovers. Having failed miserably to capture the public attention, organisers increased its distance to one mile and made it a contest for three-year-olds. The changes did the trick as ever since then the Sussex Stakes has run consistently, pausing only during times of war.
LE LEVANSTELL FIRST TO BENEFIT FROM RULE CHANGES
For almost 90 years the Sussex Stakes was restricted to three-year-olds but this changed in 1960 as four-year-olds were also given permission to compete. The decision to open the one mile race to a wider range of entrants had a significant impact with older horses regularly doing the business. Just a year after the rule change, Le Levanstell became the first four-year-old ever to claim glory in the race. Pleased by what older horses were producing, in 1975 the powers that be removed the upper age limit all together, allowing ay horse older than three to take part.
Now with even more older rivals to face, three-year-olds, despite their seven pound weight advantage, have been unable to dominate this race. While still the leading force, the age of winners is more a mixed bag and not something you ought to put much weight on when placing your bets for this race.
Previously many thought that six-years-old was the maximum age for a genuine Sussex Stakes contender but we’ve seen two recent seven-year-old champions in Here Comes When (2017) and Lightning Spear (2018). Between 1986 and 2002, 70% of winners were three-year-olds but you can see how things have shifted in more recent renewals.
When the race was strictly a three-year-old only affair, there was no possibility of a Sussex Stakes title defence. By lifting the age restriction, horses can now have several attempts but despite this, double winners are incredible rare. Only one horses has reigned supreme twice during this contest, the one and only Frankel.
His first appearance saw him set off at, by his standards, a rather long price of 8/13 for what was billed as two-horse race with Canford Cliffs. Completely untroubled that day, Sir Henry Cecil’s horse won a year later at 1/20 with a similar amount of ease in another poorly attended renewal featuring just three other runners.
FULL RESULTS OF THE 2011 & 2012 SUSSEX STAKES
|Position||2011 Sussex Stakes||2012 Sussex Stakes|
|Second||Canford Cliffs (Beaten by 5 lengths)||Farhh (Beaten by 6 lengths)|
|Third||Rio De La Plata (Beaten by 7.5 lengths)||Gabrial (Beaten by 9.25 lengths)|
|Fourth||Rajsaman (Beaten by 10 lengths)||Bullet Train (Beaten by 9.75 lengths)|
RECENT UPSETS BUCK THE TREND
Having seen Lightning Spear (9/1) win this race in 2018 and Here Comes When (20/1) triumph a year earlier, you may be thinking big money returns are regularly on offer. The Sussex Stakes is absolutely not a race for upsets or big paying winners though, in large part due to the single digit fields it usually attracts.
Between 2008 and 2016 there was only one favourite who didn’t win, and even then it was only the second favourite (Tornado) who was first home at 11/4. During this period, the average starting price of the winner was just 9/10 with Frankel being the shortest of the lot, available at incredible odds of just 1/20.
By this point in his career Frankel had already won 11 consecutive races so the bookies were refusing to take any chances on him. The tiny odds-on price was the shortest given during any point of the record-breaking horse’s career, forcing punters to back how much he’d win by, rather than if he would at all.
It was hard to blame the bookies for running scared though as the brilliant horse boasted a rating miles higher than any of his three rivals. The win came with a widely predicted degree of comfort and his classy performance is available for all to see here:
ASCOT FORM KEY
So many Sussex Stakes champions previously featured at Royal Ascot earlier in the summer before heading to Goodwood. The Queen Anne Stakes is a common race for any Sussex hopefuls, as is the St James’s Palace Stakes, another of the one mile tests part of the British Champions Series.
How horses perform at Ascot, in either race, seems to have a massive bearing on how things fare for them in the Sussex Stakes. By examining the results of recent renewals, we can see just how important a Queen Anne or St James’s Palace Stakes performance is coming into this elite Group 1 contest.
SUSSEX STAKES WINNERS’ ROYAL ASCOT FORM: 2000 – 2019
|Year||Sussex Stakes winner||Royal Ascot Race||Royal Ascot Finish|
|2019||Too Darn Hot||St James’s Palace Stakes||3rd|
|2018||Lightning Spear||Queen Anne Stakes||3rd|
|2017||Here Comes When||–||–|
|2016||The Gurkha||St James’s Palace Stakes||2nd|
|2015||Solow||Queen Anne Stakes||1st|
|2014||Kingman||St James’s Palace Stakes||1st|
|2013||Toronado||St James’s Palace Stakes||2nd|
|2012||Frankel||Queen Anne Stakes||1st|
|2011||Frankel||St James’s Palace Stakes||1st|
|2010||Canford Cliffs||St James’s Palace Stakes||1st|
|2009||Rip Van Winkle||–||–|
|2008||Henrythenavigator||St James’s Palace||1st|
|2006||Court Masterpiece||Queen Anne||2nd|
|2005||Proclamation||Jersey Stakes (York)||1st|
|2004||Soviet Song||Queen Anne Stakes||2nd|
|2002||Rock Of Gibraltar||St James’s Palace Stakes||1st|
|2001||Noverre||St James’s Palace Stakes||2nd|
|2000||Giant’s Causeway||St James’s Palace Stakes||1st|