Without Parole and supplementary entry Expert Eye are among 13 horses going for the £1,066,250 G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes over a mile, the centrepiece of the meeting on the second day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival next Wednesday. Both three-year-olds won at Royal Ascot on their latest starts, with Without Parole maintaining his unbeaten record in the mile G1 St James’s Palace Stakes, while Expert Eye returned to form with a four-and-a-half length victory in the G3 Jersey Stakes over seven furlongs. Expert Eye, owned and bred by Khalid Abdullah, was supplemented at a cost of £70,000.
The Qatar Goodwood Festival is one of the racing and betting weeks of the year and only the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot and betting on the Grand National are bigger. Without Parole has yet to race at Goodwood, whereas Expert Eye is already a winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, having glided to victory in last year’s G2 Qatar Vintage Stakes.John Gosden, trainer of Without Parole, who is owned and bred by John and Tanya Gunther, revealed earlier this week: “Without Parole is in great form and has been working nicely. We are pointing towards the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday with him and will take it from there. There is no doubt that he is progressing all the time and is a horse that will get further in time.”
The Classic generation has won 11 of the 18 editions since the turn of the century and the three-year-olds are bolstered further by Gustav Klimt (Aidan O’Brien IRE), who finished second behind Without Parole at Ascot, and 2017 European champion two-year-old filly Clemmie (Aidan O’Brien IRE). Hey Gaman came agonisingly close to providing trainer James Tate with a first Classic victory when losing out a by a neck in the G1 French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp in May. He has since finished seventh in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club over an extended 10 furlongs and fifth in the G1 Prix Jean Prat back over a mile at Deauville on July 8.
Newmarket-based Tate said today: “Hey Gaman has come out of his latest run in good form. He has done great for us this season but I think on his last run, he didn’t enjoy the quicker ground. He is in the Sussex Stakes and if they got a fair bit of rain between now and Wednesday, then we may end up running him. He is a horse that does want give in the ground and so if there was any significant rainfall between now and then, he would run, but if the weather stays dry, then he may not run.”
Unexposed French challenger Orbaan (Andre Fabre FR), successful in Listed company at Saint-Cloud last time out, G2 Lowther Stakes winner Threading (Mark Johnston), and Threeandfourpence (Aidan O’Brien IRE), a conditions race winner at Naas last night, complete the three-year-old entries going forward. The older horses include Beat The Bank (Andrew Balding) and Lord Glitters (David O’Meara), who were separated by a neck when first and second in the G2 Summer Mile at Ascot earlier this month.
Rhododendron (Aidan O’Brien) bagged her third G1 victory in the mile G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May, when repelling Lightning Spear (David Simcock) by a short-head, but ran well below her best in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes next time out. Lightning Spear has been beaten twice in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, but is a dual winner of the G2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood. So Beloved (David O’Meara), a seven-furlong G3 winner at Goodwood in 2016, completes the confirmations.