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The Qatar Sussex Stakes

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History

The Qatar Sussex Stakes began life in 1841 as a sprint and got nowhere. Failing to capture the public attention, it was uncontested on 25 occasions, including 14 walkovers. Today, having been transformed into a one mile race with Group 1 status – the first race of the season in which the three-year-old and older milers clash at the highest level – it is regarded as Goodwood’s most prestigious race. It rightly earns its place in the QIPCO British Champions Series.

That point is underlined by some of its cast-list. In 2010 it was won by Canford Cliffs, whose trainer said afterwards that Canford Cliffs was the best horse he had ever trained. Even more superlatives were handed out after the 2011 renewal as Frankel inflicted a devastating five-length victory over the defending champion. Just for good measure, the brilliant miler returned to Goodwood in 2012 and became the first horse to win two renewals of the race. Other celebrated winners include Brigadier Gerard, Kris, Giant’s Causeway and Rock Of Gibraltar and Kingman.

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 5 wins (1991, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2019)
Current leading trainer: Aidan O’Brien, 5 wins (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2016)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

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Mohaather swoops late to land superb Qatar Sussex Stakes

Mohaather proved his Group 1 credentials in stunning fashion, swooping late under Jim Crowley to land the Qatar Sussex Stakes.

In what was dubbed the ‘race of the season’ by many beforehand due to the presence of several Classic and Group 1 winners, it was the horse without a top class win to his name that would foil them all.

As expected it was Queen Anne winner, Circus Maximus, who claimed the lead in the opening stages, with QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Kameko also prominent, but on the rail – a position which would prove fatal for his chances later on.

Meanwhile Mohaather and Irish 2000 Guineas champion Siskin were ridden cold at the back of the seven runner field.

Push came to shove two-and-a-half furlongs from home as Ryan Moore kicked on Circus Maximus with outsider San Donato also making his big move under Andrea Atzeni

Favourite Siskin was then produced on the outside to make his challenge, circling the field with Mohaather still stuck in behind. Kameko, penned in on the rail, was unable to move out with Wichita boxing him in for racing room at a crucial point in the race.

As they entered the final furlong it was Mohaather, now free to sprint in the centre of the track, who was getting home much the fastest, flying past Siskin and the valiant Circus Maximus to claim his first Group 1 in style.

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

You may not have visited this racecourse, just north of Chichester in West Sussex, but you’ll surely have heard of ‘Glorious Goodwood’, the venue’s five-day summer festival.

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The festival forms a central part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, featuring three contrasting races at the end of July – the Qatar Sussex Stakes for Europe’s top milers, the Qatar Goodwood Cup for long-distance ‘stayers’ and the Qatar Nassau Stakes for a select field of fillies.

Horseracing began at Goodwood in 1802, courtesy of the third Duke of Richmond. Not that he was a huge fan. His main aim was to keep the officers of the Sussex Militia entertained.

Today’s course has a complex layout, with a six-furlong straight feeding into a tight right-handed loop catering for longer-distance races. The venue is overlooked by Trundle Iron Age hill fort, acting as an informal grandstand and offering fine views across the whole course.

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Getting there

Goodwood,
Chichester
PO18 0PS

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