We were treated to one of the races of the season in the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday. The Gurkha got his revenge on Galileo Gold, and brought Aiden O’Brien yet another Group One, after a scintillating battle with Hugo Palmer’s star 3YO. Hugo Palmer sounded a bit downbeat about his decision not to run a pacemaker, as Galileo Gold was forced into the front running role as Ryan Moore tracked Frankie Dettori beautifully throughout and delivered The Gurkha at the perfect moment. Another rematch can’t be too much to ask?
2 35 ULYSSES (M Stoute) 9/2, Group 3 3YO, 1M4F, Good to Firm
Although Ulysses has a long way to go to become the horse many thought he would be, you cannot argue that it wasn’t pleasing to see him win at Goodwood. It wasn’t a dominant win and the form in the race was at best moderate, but he travelled readily throughout and Andrea Atzeni rode him perfectly. Most Group 3 winners don’t get this attention and he has been slightly overhyped in the aftermath perhaps. The talk in the immediate hours afterwards focused on his Group One targets and this is slightly premature in our eyes. He most definitely has the pedigree to deliver, but he is still learning and needs another prep run before another shot at the big time.
3 45 YALTA (M Johnston) 8/1, Group 3 2YO, 5F, Good
Mark Johnston’s fine July continued and Yalta delivered the performance of the day to romp home in the Molecomb Stakes, with a course record for 2YOs. Connections were worried after his last two disappointing outings, but dropped to 5F revitalised him to the beast the trainer once knew. There are many options left at 5 or 6F and in 2YO races or against the elders. The Nunthorpe, the Gimrack Stakes or the Weatherbys 2YO Trophy are all realistic ambitions after the display today.