Led by Lord Lloyd-Webber’s 3-year-old homebred Too Darn Hot (GB) and Flaxman Stables, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Circus Maximus (IRE), nine horses have been entered for Wednesday’s US$1,303,453, one mile, Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) from Goodwood Racecourse, with the winner receiving an automatic starting position into the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
NBCSN will televise the Sussex Stakes live in the U.S. during a two-hour telecast (9-11 a.m. ET) live from Goodwood.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 86 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on Nov.1-2.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the pre-entry and entry fees for the Sussex Stakes winner to start in the Mile. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 21 to receive the rewards.
First run in 1878, over the years the Sussex Stakes has been won by such outstanding champions as Brigadier Gerard (1971), Giant’s Causeway (2000) and Frankel (GB) (2011, 2012).
Fresh from their tour de force with the super mare Enable (GB) in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday, the trainer-jockey combination of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori team up in the Sussex, with the 6-5 favored Too Darn Hot, who was a commanding three-length winner in the seven-furlong Qatar Prix Jean Prat (G1) over the straight course at Deauville in France on July 7. A bay son of Dubawi (IRE) out of Dar Re Mi (GB) by Singspiel (IRE), the Prix Jean Prat was a reversal of form from his third-place finish as the 6-5 favorite in the one-mile St. James’s Palace (G1) at Royal Ascot on June 18.
Too Darn Hot was 2018 Champion Juvenile
Last year, Too Darn Hot earned the title of European 2-Year-Old Champion, going unbeaten in four starts, climaxed by a 2 ¼-length victory in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (G1) at Newmarket last October. He began 2019 with two second-place finishes in the 1 3/8-mile Dante Stakes (G2) at York on May 16 and a three-length defeat in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas (G1) at the Curragh on May 25.
Circus Maximus sprung a 10-1 upset in the St. James’s Palace, holding on to a neck win over King of Comedy (GB), with Too Darn Hot in third. Trained by Aidan O’Brien, a four-time winner of Sussex, Circus Maximus was sixth in the Investec Derby (G1) at Epsom on June 1 prior to his St. James’s Palace score. A 3-year-old bay son of Galileo (IRE), ridden by Ryan Moore, Circus Maximus won his 2019 debut in the 1 3/8-mile Homeserve Dee Stakes at Chester on May 9.
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Tony Wechsler and Ann Plummer’s 3-year-old Phoenix of Spain (IRE), a gray son of Lope de Vega (IRE), trained by Charlie Hills and ridden by Jamie Spencer, defeated Too Darn Hot in the Irish 2000 Guineas in his first start of the year. But as the 5-2 second choice in the St. James’s Palace, he weakened in the final furlong after chasing the leaders and wound up sixth, beaten 3 ¾ lengths.
Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s venerable gray Lord Glitters (FR) earned an automatic berth into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile when he won the one-mile Queen Anne Stakes (G1) by a neck over Beat the Bank (GB) at 14-1 to open the Royal Ascot meeting on June18. That effort was marked improvement over his 13th place finish in the one-mile Lockinge Stakes (G1) at Newbury in his prior start. A 6-year-old gelded son of Whipper, ridden by Danny Tudhope, Lord Glitters finished third in the 1 1/8-mile Dubai Turf (G1) at Meydan on March 30 in his 2019 debut.
Also of interest the Roger Varian-trained Zabeel Prince (IRE), who won the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp on May 26 at ParisLongchamp, and the Eve Johnson Houghton-trained 5-year-old Accidental Agent (GB) who defeated Lord Glitters in last year’s Queen Anne.
Sussex is Sixth Challenge Race
The Sussex Stakes is the sixth Breeders’ Cup Challenge race in the TVG Mile division this year. The other Mile qualifiers thus far are: Do It Again (SAF), winner of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth, South Africa, Tamburo Di Oro (CHI), who won the Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) in Santiago, Chile, Bolo (USA), winner of the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita, Indy Champ (JPN), who captured the Yasuda Kinen (G1) in Tokyo, Japan and Lord Glitters.