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21 Jun 2016

Trio embark on road to Sussex Stakes thriller

In recent times, the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood has earned itself the moniker of 'The Duel on the Downs'.
That title was bestowed in 2011 when the mighty Frankel locked horns with Canford Cliffs, a rival deemed suitable to test his resolve in the form of.
Of course, as history will forever recall, Sir Henry Cecil's mighty powerhouse Frankel would turn out to be entirely peerless, rendering the 'duel' a one-horse affair.
As this year's renewal creeps closer there is the tantalising prospect of a colossal triple threat clash in the Sussex.
Prominent in the bet365 racing betting for the Group 1 mile at Glorious Goodwood are the winners of the English, Irish and French 2,000 Guineas – Galileo Gold, Awtaad and The Gurkha.
The recent clash of this trio in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot won by Newmarket Guineas hero Galileo Gold under Frankie Dettori – has merely whetted the appetite for a second showdown at Goodwood.
At Ascot Dettori, as he so often does, produced an inspired piece of race riding to grab the prize money on the Hugo Palmer-trained Galileo Gold.
Despite the presence of two pacemakers in the field, the Group 1 contest still managed to produce something of an inconclusive result.
Dettori and Galileo Gold were able to make a decisive move while Ryan Moore on The Gurkha and Conor Hayes on Awtaad were still held up off the pace at the back of the field.
Dettori essentially managed to slip the field at the furlong pole, leaving first Hayes on Awtaad and latterly Moore to attempt in vain to bridge a sizeable gap as the winning post loomed large.
Awtaad, who had defeated Galileo Gold in decisive fashion at the Curragh in the Irish Guineas, could not pick up as desired on the soft ground and instead it was The Gurkha that grabbed the second spot – the best part of two-lengths in arrears of the winner.
Having pocketed two Group 1 wins over a mile in Britain this season, should Galileo Gold be a confident selection to make it three at Goodwood? Or does a suspicion linger that, given the benefit of hindsight, Moore and Hayes would choose to play their cards differently?
These are questions that the racing public would love to have answered in what is sure to be a highlight of the Glorious Goodwood festival.
Last year, a second 'Duel on the Downs' failed to materialise when ground conditions went against 2,000 Guineas hero Gleneagles, thus depriving racing fans of the chance to see him battle the outstanding French miler, Solow.
Andre Fabre's star will miss the Sussex this year but the race will have major appeal if the trio of Guineas winners all stands their ground for a fascinating rematch on 27th July.
Was it a tactical triumph for Frankie at Ascot, or will Galileo Gold rubberstamp his authority for once and for all.
He has been brilliant in victory at Newmarket and Ascot but, come Goodwood, with trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Moore now wise to his ability, it could be that The Gurkha will be ready to throw down the gauntlet in front of Galileo Gold.

The prospect is already one to make the mouth water.