Stars on collision course in Sussex Stakes

Aidan O'Brien: Has four possible runners in the Sussex Stakes.

Galileo Gold, The Gurkha and Awtaad remain on course for a potential repeat of their thrilling Royal Ascot clash after featuring among 14 confirmations for the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood next Wednesday.

Hugo Palmer’s 2000 Guineas hero Galileo Gold had to make do with the runner-up spot in the Irish equivalent behind the Kevin Prendergast-trained Awtaad, but gained his revenge in the St James’s Palace Stakes with a brilliantly-judged ride by Frankie Dettori.

Splitting the pair at Ascot was Aidan O’Brien’s French 2000 Guineas winner The Gurkha, who subsequently came up narrowly short in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

The Gurkha is one of four possible O’Brien runners in the Group One, with impressive Falmouth Stakes winner Alice Springs, The Happy Prince and Long Island Sound all on the list.

Arod ran a fantastic race to fill the runner-up spot behind Solow in last year’s renewal and could bid to go one better, but would need to bounce back from a disappointing effort in the July Cup.

Richard Fahey’s Gabrial was third 12 months ago and in 2012 behind the legendary Frankel. He may also return, while Fahey has also left in Jersey Stakes winner Ribchester.

Kodi Bear, Lightning Spear, Richard Pankhurst, So Beloved and Toormore have also been confirmed.

Meanwhile, the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 10 is one of the races under consideration for Success Days as Ken Condon’s stable star closes in on a return to action.

The four-year-old won both the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial last season before suffering an injury in the Derby at Epsom.

He ran three solid races earlier this spring, most recently finishing third in the Tattersalls Gold Cup in May, and is set to make his comeback before the end of September.

Condon said: “I’m very happy with him.

“He had a midsummer break after the Tattersalls Gold Cup and is coming back now.

“We’ll step up his work in the next few weeks and then we’ll see where we go.

“He is in the Royal Whip (at the Curragh) and that might be a possibility, ground permitting.

“The other option is the Irish Champion Stakes and I would like to see him going left-handed again, so we’ll see.

“Hopefully the ground will be on the slow side wherever he goes and we’ll look forward to it.”


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