Edited Breeders’ Cup Release — Odds-on favorite Paddington (GB) extended his unbeaten record to six and further enhanced his lofty reputation by winning today’s 1-mile Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood. The victory gave him an automatic starting position and fees paid into the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 80 Graded/Group stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
Dropping back to the mile distance after winning the 1 1/2-mile Coral-Eclipse (G1), trainer Aidan O’Brien’s “unique” 3-year-old fended off a persistent challenge from 11-1 Facteur Cheval (IRE) to land the feature race on day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival. The Siyouni (FR) colt has flourished since making a successful start to his campaign in a handicap at Leopardstown for owners Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Peter Brant, and Westerberg, winning a listed race at The Curragh, the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1), and the St James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot before defeating Emily Upjohn (GB) in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
Multiple Group 1-winning filly Inspiral (GB), ridden by Frankie Dettori, was the first to throw down a challenge to Paddington, but it was French raider Facteur Cheval who emerged as the biggest threat. However, a determined Ryan Moore aboard Paddington urged his mount clear with the final winning distance of 1 1/2 lengths. Charyn (IRE) finished a gallant third for trainer Roger Varian.
The final time was 1:47.16 on going described as soft, after persistent rain fell at Goodwood overnight and throughout Wednesday.
O’Brien indicated that the 1 1/4-mile Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York on Aug. 23, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), could be the next start for Paddington.
Paddington became the first horse since the legendary Giant’s Causeway to complete the St James’s Palace, Coral-Eclipse, and Sussex Stakes treble and O’Brien opened up the possibility of Paddington emulating him further by running in the Nov. 4 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, a race in which Giant’s Causeway memorably finished second to Tiznow in 2000.
“He’s a very unique horse and he has the speed to be a Classic horse,” O’Brien said of Paddington. “He has the determination and courage, so it’ll be whatever the (ownership connections) decide, but I wouldn’t rule anything out with this horse because he has loads of speed. He has that action that he would get hold of the dirt if the (ownership connections) did want to do anything like that.
“He’s progressing with each run and he’s making progression on the scales as well. He was four kilos heavier today than he was at Sandown. He doesn’t miss any work. He’s obviously growing and maturing all the time. I think it will be interesting to see how he comes out of this race because it’s tougher ground than he’s raced on before.”
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Paddington to start in the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.