QIPCO Sussex Stakes
|Group 1, Goodwood 15:05
1m, Class 1
|Wednesday 30th July 2014|
1 Kingman 2/5F
3 Darwin 25/1
NR: War Command (USA)
4 ran Distances: 1l, hd, 1¾l
TIME 1m 41.75s (slow by 5.05s)
Kingman rules again as he wins the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
Whether a slow pace or fast pace the 2000 Guineas winner shows he's the best miler in Europe by winning the QIPCO Sussex Stakes.
A scintillating surge of power carried Kingman to the lead and an emphatic, if relatively narrow, victory.
Crossing the line in a time of 1.41.75, five seconds slower than standard and reflective of a tactical race and early steady pace, the John Gosden-trained Kingman won by a length from last year's victor, Toronado. Kingman, who was ridden by James Doyle for owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah, set off the 2/5 favourite.
Gosden said: "I thought they would go a decent pace because they know he [Kingman] has a turn of foot, but I could see Aidan [O'Brien, trainer of third-placed Darwin] playing the same game. 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 Darley July Cup, and if truth be known he would have won it. I'm not just being loud-mouthed when I say that because I feel it's a statement of fact. 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.
"This horse gets the mile well, and, while it was a tactical affair, luckily he had the toe to win.
"His balance won on this track. Having walked it twice you have to remind yourself it's downhill, it goes uphill, it switches, it cambers away and then runs downhill to the two-and-a-half furlong marker, which is why a lot of horses get unbalanced. A lot of horses come late on the outside to win, because they are just getting the momentum and balance, and he's no different to that.
"It's a tricky track, it tests your agility and is not unlike Epsom, another downland track. It is ability to switch legs and be nifty that counts. It's a demanding track, but the ground was fine for him - he's now won three times on good to firm, but he goes on soft and he goes on anything."
Gosden, who has now saddled 129 Goodwood winners of which 30 have been at the Glorious meeting, added: "James said the horse was happy on today's ground, but he just took a little organising with two and a half furlongs to run - at the furlong marker he was in control again. James has a cool head and didn't panic, and the horse has a gear and then another gear. Today he only had to use one gear, but that was the same for all the horses because they only had a chance to use one gear. I had an old MGB GT in which you could get into fifth and then flick a button and go again, and this horse has that button as you saw in the St James's Palace Stakes.
"He's in the Prix Jacques Le Marois which comes up pretty quick on August 17, but the QEII has always been the big, big target and that remains the plan. So we will keep winding it back from there. I'm not keen on the Prix du Moulin, so he could go straight to the QEII." Paddy Power quoted Kingman at 4/7 (first show) for that race.
Asked if he felt it likely that Kingman would stay in training at four, Gosden said: "That's not my department. It's very much Prince Khalid's choice, and I'm sure we will all have a lunch and discuss it in depth. He's grown, as has Taghrooda [the filly he trained to win Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot].
"You are lucky when you get two three-year-olds like this. She's got bigger and stronger and he's done the same - you only have to put your hand on their necks to feel the sheer strength of them. Being given spaced races helps.
"We know Taghrooda is being retired at the end of this season, and this horse, well, it's up to the owner, but we know he's doing enough and he's growing a lot. He's a lot wiser. The horse at the beginning of the year was not as smart as he was today - he's getting pretty smart and the jockey's smart enough, too."
Qipco Sussex Stakes (British Champions Series)
£300,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm