By HRI Foreign Staff — The Sussex Stakes is seen as the jewel in the crown of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, with many of the best milers in Britain and Ireland locking horns in a race worth a total of around £1million, with a winner’s prize of £567K.
It will be 180 years since the first running, and back in 1841 it was a six-furlong affair for two-year-olds before becoming a mile-long race for three-year-olds in 1878, More recently, the race has been open to horses aged four and over with three-year-olds carrying 9st, four-year-olds 9st 8lb, with fillies and mares getting a 3lb allowance.
According to the horse betting experts at British Gambler, Palace Pier will be leading the British contingent with hopes high amongst the four-year-old’s connections that he can follow up his win in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and make it nine wins from ten career starts, rubber-stamping his position as the world’s leading turf miler.
Palace Pier will face stiff opposition from 2,000 Guineas winner Poetic Flare, who followed his win at Newmarket by claiming the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting.
Also in the mix will be the Aiden O’Brien trained St Mark’s Basilica who beat, amongst others, Poetic Flare in the French 2,000 Guineas where the soft conditions were very much to the French-bred three-year-old’s liking.
Poetic Flare followed that up with a comfortable win over ten furlongs in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown, so stamina is very much in his favour –St Mark’s Basilica shines again to land Coral-Eclipse at Sandown – BBC Sport.
Twelve months ago, in front of only a handful of spectators due to the Covid crisis, second favourite Mohaather took the honours, holding off last year’s Queen Anne Stakes winner Circus Maximus in a field of just seven.
As good a horse as Palace Pier is, the John and Thady Gosden-trained star is only rated 3lb higher than Poetic Flare and 5lb superior to St Mark’s Basilica.
However, with conditions at the Sussex track expected to be firm underfoot, there is sure to be a charge from the older horses with Lady Bowthorpe (10-1) likely to run a big race in a bid to become the first five-year-old winner since Solow in 2016.
The ante-post betting has Palace Pier at evens with Poetic Flare at around 2-1, and if the weather holds firm, it looks likely to be a two-way battle, with the likelihood that the British miler will prevail.
Recent trends point towards Palace Pier with eight of the last twelve favourites prevailing, but Poetic Flare can look to the fact that seven of the last 12 winners have been three-year-olds.
With Palace Pier likely to shorten it may be wise to get your bets in early if you’re backing the favourite or, alternatively, to improve your odds for a win bet on Palace Pier, a straight forecast to beat Poetic Flare is a likely outcome – you’d currently get around 4-1 for the straight forecast.
However, if conditions become markedly softer then St Mark’s Basilica comes into the equation for the straight forecast bet, reported Horseraceinsider.
Along with Lady Bowthorpe, the Richard Hannon-trained Snow Lantern (8-1) should be there or thereabouts at the finish, the filly sired by Frankel bidding to emulate its more illustrious parent who won the race in 2011 and 2012.