A “Duel on the Downs” has been a phrase synonymous with Glorious Goodwood over the last few years with Frankel and Canford Cliffs’ battle at the 2011 festival a notable clash between two heavyweights of the equine world but on Wednesday afternoon, another two luminaries of the one mile distance will lock horns in another mouth-watering showpiece.
The pair in question may lack the pulling power of the mighty Frankel, but the QIPCO Sussex Stakes is still set to be one of the highlights of the five-day extravaganza as 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach will go toe to toe with Richard Hannon’s Toronado in a race that will complete the trilogy of this great battle this season.
Jim Bolger’s Dawn Approach was sensational when sprinting clear of Toronado in the aforementioned Guineas at Newmarket in May and he was fully expected to do the same in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, but the Hannon-trained flyer was there for a fight at the Berkshire venue and the pair created a memorable finish to the Group One prize.
Richard Hughes was always travelling sweetly on Toronado, but he along with Kevin Manning on board Dawn Approach found trouble in running and were baulked when just launching their challenge, but the pair managed to get their mounts in full flow again, but it was the Emerald Isle raider who just had enough class to secure his second victory over his adversary.
Now we are set for another sensational meeting between the pair and it’s unsurprising to see that Paddy Power have installed Dawn Approach as the 11/10 favourite, whilst Toronado is just a smidgen behind at 6/4 in the market what will be a race that will capture the public’s imagination come Wednesday afternoon at 3:05pm.
Form judges are sure to throw their hat in the court of Dawn Approach as he showed tremendous guts to get the better of Toronado in the St James’s Palace, but if on a going day the Hannon-trained stable star will provide another stern test to the Irish raider and we are set for another sensational “Duel on the Downs”
All eyes heading into the race will be on the aforementioned three-year-olds, but there could well be a potential fly in the ointment from Aidan O’Brien’s yard as the exceptional Queen Anne Stakes winner Declaration Of War has to be handed significant respect in the seven-runner Group One and he is available at 5/1 in the latest betting with Paddy Power.
Comfortably beaten by Al Kazeem in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park earlier in the month, the four-year-old Ballydoyle inmate will relish a drop back to eight furlongs and even though has to give the Classic generation a significant weight advantage has shown that if he’s on his top game then he will be a major player and he could feature prominently in the finish.
Away from the leading triumvirate it’s tough to see any of the four other runners featuring prominently with the likes of Reply and Leitir Mora adopting pacemaking duties for their stablemates, but with the aforementioned trio oozing class then we are set for an epic clash on the second day of the Glorious meeting.