It is always dangerous to assume anything in the horse racing game, but, on the assumption that the mighty Frankel does indeed win the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next month (as most people believe), there could well follow an extraordinary encounter between Henry Cecil’s star three-year-old, outstanding older miler Canford Cliffs, and Australian superstar So you Think, in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood at the end of July.
The three star racehorses were amongst a total of 35 entered for the Group 1 Qipco Sussex Stakes, staged at Goodwood on July 27, and should the trio all stand their ground the consequent race could justifiably be billed as the ‘race of the season’. Frankel is a long odds-on 1/3 favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes to follow up his stunning 2000 Guineas win at HQ last month, and early betting on the Sussex Stakes has seen him again installed at odds-on, at 4/6. That sort of price may make people want to look at the Epsom Derby betting odds instead.
Canford Cliffs, a brilliant winner of last year’s renewal and victorious on his seasonal reappearance in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury earlier this month has been priced up at 2/1 in the Royal Ascot betting, whilst Aussie sensation So You Think, the horse who landed four Group 1’s in his native land in the space of six weeks last term and is now under the care of Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle, has already shown what a prospect he is by slamming his rivals in the 10 furlong Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last weekend.
With both the Irish 1000 and 2000 Guineas winners, Misty For Me and Roderic O’Connor, as well as other high-class performers Delegator, Wootton Basset, Dream Ahead and Dick Turpin also amongst the initial entries, the Sussex Stakes is a race that has already set plenty of tongues wagging.