The second day of this year’s Goodwood Festival was headlined by the Sussex States. One of the most prestigious races in the entire UK calendar. It was yet another action-packed day of racing with two Grade 3 races, the Angel Oak Tree Stakes and the Market Molecomb Stakes, and Qatar Sussex Stakes rounding off the card. Here we recap the best of the action.
Qatar Sussex Stakes
Win – Baaeed -600
Place – Modern Games +1200
Show – Alcohol Free +1100
G1, one mile, open to horses three and over. Total prize pool £275,000
This year’s Sussex Stakes was dominated by one horse, Baaeed. The highest-rated horse on the planet, the William Haggas-trained horse was looking for his ninth win and fifth consecutive Grade One victory.
Unlike greats of the past, Baaeed doesn’t trounce his opponents, instead always just doing enough for victory – and this year’s Sussex Stakes was no different.
Sitting well within the pack, Baaeed was happy for Japanese raider Bathrat Leon to dictate the early pace. As the horses approached the furlong pole, Baaeed made his move. Showing his trademark change of gear between the furlong and half furlong marker, Baaeed swept to the front. From there he would never be caught. Modern Games and Alcohol Free tried to keep up, but Baaeed was in a class of his own.
As the winner of the race, Baaeed has qualified for the Breeders’ Cup Mile but it looks a race he will unlikely participate in. Looking to step up to 1 mile 2 furlongs, it will be fascinating to see where this superstar ends up next.
Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes
Win – Oscula +366
Place – Internationalangel +6600
Show – Samahram +550
G3, seven furlongs, open to fillies and mares who are 3. Total prize pool £50,000
Fifteen headed to post for this year’s Angel Oak Tree stakes for what would be one of the most competitive races of the week.
Leading the betting was Oscula who was looking to build on her second place in the Group 3 Valiant Stakes earlier this summer.
It was a race that many horses could have won and as the race developed there was a whole heap of chances. With two furlongs to run it was Internationalangel who made her move, kicking clear and maintaining her lead well inside the last furlong.
Chasing her hard all the way was Oscula and she seemed to be closing with each stride. As the two hit the line they were side by side, with the judge needing to separate them. After some deliberation, it was Oscula who had just poked her head in front, netting her very first Group win in the process.
Markel Molecomb Stakes
Win – Trillium +700
Place – Rocket Rodney +100
Show – Walbank +400
G3, five furlongs, open to two-year-old horses. Total prize pool £75,000
Eight horses headed to post for this year’s Molecomb Stakes. The market was dominated by Rocket Rodney who headed into the race in great form following his comfortable victory in the Coral Dragon Stakes earlier in the summer.
As the race unfolded, Rocket Rodney looked like the class horse of the race, cantering whilst those around him were sprinting.
As they reached the furlong pole there looked to be only one winner as Rocket Rodney swept to the front. However, the eye was drawn to the rail. Finding a seam of space, Trillium burst out of the chasing pack and quickly caught the leader.
Breezing past, she won by a comfortable length. Showing an effortless change of gear she could be a horse to keep an eye on for the rest of the season.
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