Goodwood, Turf, 1609m
30 July 2014

Only four runners turned out to contest yesterday’s Group 1 QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Goodwood but the race provided a pulsating finish, despite the first five and a half furlongs being run at a very sedate pace.

In a tactical affair, last year’s winner Toronado (High Chaparral) was the first to quicken with just over two furlongs to run and soon headed the leader Darwin (Big Brown), but Kingman (Invincible Spirit) came from the back of the quartet to sweep past the pair of them and win by a length.

Crossing the line in a time of 1.41.75, five seconds slower than standard, the John Gosden-trained colt was completing a hat-trick of Group 1 wins.

Gosden said afterwards, “I thought they would go a decent pace because they know he has a turn of foot. It was as if they were saying ‘we know he’ll come from last to first, and if we can nick two lengths it will take a lot of getting back’. Actually he has the class to do it under hands and heels. It reminds me of the fact I had him in the July Cup and, if truth be known, he would have won it. I ran a lovely old horse called Gregorian who was third, but unlucky not to be second - he was shut off and had to switch - and I wouldn’t put them in the same bit of work. Is this horse as quick as his uncle Oasis Dream, who won the July Cup? They are both equally fast.”

Teddy Grimthorpe, Racing Manager to Kingman’s owner-breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah, paid tribute to the winner: “We discussed running him at length and we thought that the most important thing was to try and take on Toronado, especially on his home ground. It’s important for the three-year-olds to meet the older generation and Prince Khalid was very keen on this because he is a great lover of the Sussex Stakes. When the ground came up fair - it’s good, fast ground - we really had to take the shot with him. We have discussed the possibility of going to Deauville for the Jacques Le Marois. I think the end game would probably be the QEII at Ascot on Champions’ Day. We certainly haven’t had any discussions about next year. I think the most important thing is to get this year under the belt first. We are incredibly lucky to have such a horse of his calibre and he really excites people because, when you see that turn of foot, that’s what get’s the blood rushing and that’s what brings people into the stands.”

Kingman is the best produce to date out of Khalid Abdullah’s 2002 Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner Zenda (Zamindar), whose half-siblings include the Champion racehorse and leading sire Oasis Dream (Green Desert) and dual Listed winner Hopeful Light (Warning), who died at four. They are out of a full-sister to the Group 1 Irish Oaks heroine Wemyss Bight (Dancing Brave), dam of the multiple Group 1 winner and sire Beat Hollow.

Of the runner-up Toronado, Harry Herbert, Racing Manager to owner Al Shaqab Racing, paid tribute to the winner and said that Toronado may renew rivalry with Kingman on Champions’ Day at Ascot.

Extract from European Bloodstock News