Guineas Victors In Mix For Sussex Stakes

Guineas Victors In Mix For Sussex Stakes

English and Irish 2000 Guineas winners Magna Grecia and Phoenix Of Spain headline 35 entries for the £1 million Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood this summer.

Magna Grecia - son of Invincible Spirit, gave Ballydoyle magician Aidan O'Brien a record tenth victory in the Newmarket edition earlier this month, but could only manage a fifth-place finish at the Curragh behind the Charlie Hills-trained Phoenix Of Spain last weekend.

Both solid milers could clash first in the St James's Palace at Royal Ascot next month, along with Too Darn Hot - also entered in the Sussex Stakes, who finished second in the opening Irish Classic of the season, and has been bumped back down to a mile after failing to stay the Dante trip up at York.

O’Brien - who has seven of the thirteen entries in the Epsom Derby this weekend, currently has the same number involved in the field for the Goodwood Group One on July 31st.

He has saddled five winners in the past of the Sussex Stakes – with the likes of Giant’s Causeway (2000) and Rock Of Gibraltar in 2002 the pick of the bunch, and will be further boosted by the inclusion of dual 1,000 Guineas winner Hermosa, who could alternatively go down the Nassau Stakes route if attempting further.

Champion Trainer John Gosden landed the Sussex Stakes in 2014 with now sire-sensation Kingman, and has entered juvenile Coventry Stakes winner Calyx and impressive Heron Stakes successor King Of Comedy, to sit alongside the champion two-year-old in the ranks.

Looking further down the field, there will be plenty of horses for the three-year-old's to test, including standout Lockinge winner Mustashry.

Twice the age of some, the six-year-old Sir Michael Stoute inmate had several other Sussex Stakes entrants behind him at Newbury, including the third-place finisher Accidental Agent - winner of last year's Queen Anne, and the fourth Romanised - winner of last season's Irish Guineas and trained by Ken Condon.

Roger Varian’s smart Prix d’Ispahan scorer Zabeel Prince, and the Charlie Appleby-trained Barney Roy will likewise both be heading to the opening race at the Royal meeting first, but have future entries on the Sussex Downs to consider on the final day of July.

Ed Walker's Stormy Antarctic has already won a Group Three in Germany and a Group Two in Italy this year, and looks a challenger back on home-soil.

Lightning Spear won the race last year under Oisin Murphy, leading home the Khalid Abdullah-owned Expert Eye, both of whom have now retired.