Sussex Stakes Betting

The Glorious Goodwood Festival takes place in late July or early August each year, about six weeks after the Royal Ascot meeting. It attracts top horses for five full days of unmatched flat racing action. One of the main events on Wednesday, Day Two, is the much anticipated Sussex Stakes for the best milers in Europe.

When the Sussex Stakes was first held in 1841, it was a six-furlong sprint for two-year-olds. In 1878, the distance was extended to a full mile and entry was limited to three-year-olds. Four-year-olds were admitted in 1960, and the race in its current format over one mile on the right-handed turf of Goodwood Racecourse north of Chichester, West Sussex, has existed since 1975.

Today, this Group 1 race is open to Thoroughbreds aged three years and upwards. The youngest runners carry eight stone 13 pounds, while four-year-olds and older horses bear nine-stone-seven. There is an allowance of three pounds for fillies and mares, with no penalties for previous winners applied.

Many consider the Sussex Stakes to be the most prestigious race held at Goodwood, and it is certainly among Britainís most important races over this distance. It always attracts a strong field, with a total prize purse of £300,000, of which more than £170,000 goes to the winner.

An impressive roll of honour has been established for the Sussex Stakes. Past winners include such legendary steeds as 1872ís champion Rayon díOr, who also won the St. Leger Stakes that year, and 1909ís phenomenon Minoru, who claimed both the 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby before the year was done. More recent victors who have made their mark in the Classics include 1971ís winner Brigadier Gerard, Kris, 2000ís Giants Causeway and 2002ís Rock Of Gibraltar.

Although no horse has ever won the Sussex Stakes twice, famed jockey Sir Gordon Richards rode eight months to victory here. His good fortune started with Marconigram in 1928, followed by his first of three back-to-back wins, with Corpach in 1936 and Pascal in 1937. The other two repeats wins were on Radiotherapy in 1946 and Combat in 1947, and then Le Sage in 1951 and Agitator in 1952. In between, he managed a solo triumph in 1949 on Krakatao, too.

The leading trainer here has been Henry Cecil. His five winners include Bolkonski in 1975, Wollow in 1976, Kris in 1979, Distant View in 1994, and Ali-Royal in 1997. Most recently, Aidan OíBrien has found success in the Sussex Stakes four times. He trained the aforementioned 2000 and 2002 winners and has followed up with first-place finishes by Henrythenavigator in 2008 and Rip Van winkle in 2009.

Bettors will find plenty of action in the brief 100 seconds or so of the race, as from five to ten runners contest for the prize. But donít look for long odds to pay out. In the past decade, there has been only one double-digit winneróAmericaís Reel Buddy at 20/1 in 2003. The top-rated horses almost always prevail.

In 2010, three-year-old Canford Cliffs from Ireland prevented Rip Van winkle from becoming the Sussex Stakesí first repeat winneróbut only by a neck. The rookie Irish favourite paid 4/6 with a winning time of 1:37.44.

The running of the Sussex Stakes is surrounded by other major races, such as the ten-furlong Nassau Stakes for mares and fillies and the Group 2 Goodwood Cup. There are some 35 betting opportunities in all over the course of the Festival, surrounded by relaxed socialising on the Sussex downs, top quality fashion events, and partying until late into the night.

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