Led by John and Tanya Gunther's undefeated homebred Without Parole (GB) and Khalid Abdullah's Jersey Stakes (G3) winner Expert Eye (GB), a field of eight runners is set for Wednesday's one-mile, $1.391 million Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) at Glorious Goodwood, with the winner receiving an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) through the international Breeders' Cup Challenge.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of 85 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 Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 2-3.
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. 22 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).
Without Parole, a 3-year-old bay son of two-time Sussex Stakes winner Frankel, jumped into Group 1 glory at Royal Ascot after winning three listed races this spring, scoring a half-length victory at odds of 9-4 over Gustav Klimt (IRE) in the St. James's Palace Stakes (G1) on June 19. Trained by John Gosden and to be ridden by Andrea Atzeni from post 8, Without Parole opened the year on April 24 with a six-length victory in the one-mile Free Heron Stakes at Sandown and was back in the winner's circle one month later after capturing the one-mile Centre of Norwich Novice Stakes at Yarmouth.
“Without Parole is in great form and has been working nicely,” Gosden said. “There is no doubt that he is progressing all the time and is a horse that will get further in time.”
The 3-year-old Expert Eye, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, comes into the Sussex off a stirring 4-½ length victory in the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes at 8-1 on June 20 at Royal Ascot, blasting to the front in the final 150 yards to secure his first win of the year and reversing a 10th-place finish in the Qipco 2000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket on May 5. A bay son of Acclamation (GB) out of Exemplify (GB) by Dansili (GB), Expert Eye finished second in his seasonal debut, the seven-furlong Greatwood Greenham Stakes (G3) at Newberry on April 21. Expert Eye also has a victory over the Goodwood course, taking last August's Qatar Vintage Stakes (G2) at seven furlongs. Breaking from post 5, Expert Eye will be ridden by James Doyle.
Aidan O'Brien, who has trained four winners of the Sussex Stakes, has entered the 3-year-old Gustav Klimt (Ryan Moore, post 6) for Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. A bay son of Galileo (IRE), Gustav Klimt, has won three of eight starts. He was recently third in the July 8, one-mile Prix Jean Prat (G3) at Deauville, beaten 1 ¼ lengths. Prior to that, he was third in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas (G1 at The Curragh and sixth in the Qipco 2000 Guineas. He opened the season with a win in the seven-furlong 2000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown.
The first two finishers of the Summer Mile Stakes (G2) at Ascot on July 14 – Beat the Bank (GB) and Lord Glitters (FR) – also have been entered. Trained by Andrew Balding for King Power Racing, the 4-year-old Beat the Bank (Jim Crowley, post 1), registered his first win of the year in three starts with his half-length score in the Summer Stakes. A gray gelding by Paco Boy (IRE), Beat the Bank has a win at Goodwood, taking the one-mile Bonhams Stakes (G3) last August.
Geoff and Sandra Turnbull's 5-year-old Lord Glitters has finished second in all three of his starts this year for trainer David O'Meara. A gray gelded son of Whipper, Lord Glitters (Daniel Tudhope, post 3), was second by a half-length to Accidental Agent (GB) in the “Win and You're In” Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, prior to his runner-up finish in the Summer Mile.
Qatar Racing's 7-year-old Lightning Spear (GB) has been beaten twice in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, but is a dual winner of the G2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood. Trained by David Simcock and ridden by Oisin Murphy from post 2, Lightning Spear has been in the thick of it in his last two starts, finishing just three-quarters of a length behind Accidental Agent in the Queen Anne, and was second to Rhododendron (IRE) by a short head in the one-mile Lockinge Stakes (G1) Newberry on May 19.
Prince AA Faisal's 3-year-old Orbaan (GB), (Silvestre de Sousa, post 7), winner of the listed Prix de Saint-Patrick at Saint-Could on July 1 for trainer Andre Fabre, and Thoroughbred British Racing's 8-year-old So Beloved (GB) (Adam Kirby, post 4), second in the seven-furlong Minstrel Stakes on June 21 at the Curragh for trainer David Simcock, completes the field.
The Sussex Stakes is the seventh Breeders' Cup Mile qualifier thus far in 2018. The first six to qualify are: Legal Eagle (SAF), winner of the L'Oramins Queen's Plate (G1) at Kenilworth in South Africa; Happy Clapper (AUS), who captured the Star Doncaster Mile (G1) at Royal Randwick in Australia; Nuevo Maestro (CHI), who won the Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) at Club Hipico in Santiago, Chile ; Hunt (IRE), winner of the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park in California; Mozu Ascot, who won the Yasuda Kinen (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse and Accidental Agent, winner of the Queen Anne in June at Royal Ascot.
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