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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

All the key views as Without Parole bids to emulate sire Frankel in the Sussex

Without Parole seeks a second Group 1 success in the Sussex Stakes with his nearest Royal Ascot victim, Gustav Klimt, among his opponents
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3.35 Goodwood
Qatar Sussex Stakes | Group 1 | 1m | 3yo+ | ITV1/RUK

Without Parole's father Frankel was twice magnificent in the Qatar Sussex Stakes during a career in which he was never defeated. Now the son bids to emulate the sire by winning the highlight of Glorious Goodwood and thus maintain his own unbeaten record.

Victory in the St James's Palace Stakes gave Without Parole a fourth success and a first in Group 1 company. He remains at the highest level but now faces older opposition and, with a new jockey, seeks to give John Gosden, successful with Kingman in 2014, a second triumph in the £1 million showpiece.

Frankie Dettori was in the saddle at Ascot, where the reopposing Gustav Klimt took second. However, his suspension has given Andrea Atzeni – who steered second-favourite Expert Eye at this meeting last year – the seat on a colt whose trainer points to the unique demands of Goodwood as representing something of a question mark.

"He's a talented horse who has improved all the way and we're pleased with him," said Gosden.

"This race is going to be run on a very different track to Ascot's Old Mile. That makes different demands on the horse. You have to handle the undulations and cambers of Goodwood, which we know Expert Eye does. We're going to find out whether we do as well.

"I think it's fair to say if this were being run on a straight mile or Ascot's round mile I would have a lot more confidence. Without Parole has always been a well-balanced horse but he has certainly never run on anything like Goodwood. This is going to be a test of his dexterity."

Only Group 1 winner in the field and better than ever last time

Did not set the world alight at Ascot and trainer fears Goodwood may not play to his strengths

Eye still focused on Group 1 glory

At Glorious Goodwood in 2017 Expert Eye was breathtaking. He looked like a colt who would pluck Group 1 prizes off trees, but as he returns 12 months on there has yet to be a top-flight success. If he is as good this day as he was that day, the first Group 1 victory could be imminent.

Expert Eye was superb at Goodwood last year

The wide-margin romp in the Vintage Stakes was followed by three consecutive defeats. Then, just as some were giving up on Expert Eye, he revived his career with a rip-roaring Jersey Stakes success.

That was over seven furlongs. He could have stayed at the trip for Tuesday's Lennox Stakes but has instead been supplemented at a cost of £70,000 for one of the most important mile events, in which he attempts to back up King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes glory for Sir Michael Stoute and first-time partner James Doyle.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "The potential gains of running in the Sussex Stakes outweigh what would have been the gains of running in the Lennox. Winning the Sussex, if he could, would have enormous implications on his stud career.

"He's been very straightforward since Ascot and is giving off the right vibes. I also think he's now much more sensible. He isn't as exuberant as he was last year and is better both mentally and physically.

"If he's as good as he looked at Royal Ascot he should be competitive."

Stoute added: "He's run over a mile only in the Guineas, so that's an unknown. He's in very good shape. We just have to see if he gets the trip."

At his best he possesses the wow factor and is probably the most exciting horse in the field

Has sometimes raced freely, which in a small field over a mile could spell trouble

Not exactly a banker but . . .

Andrew Balding and Jim Crowley teamed up to win last year's Sussex Stakes with 20-1 surprise package Here Comes When. Should the pair combine to repeat that success with Beat The Bank it would be not nearly such a shock.

Beat The Bank was impressive when winning at Glorious Goodwood last year

While three-year-olds dominate the betting, Beat The Bank, an impressive winner at Glorious Goodwood last summer, leads the older-horse challenge.

His prospects are obvious, given he denied the reopposing Lord Glitters in Ascot's Group 2 Summer Mile. However, that run was preceded by three consecutive Group 1 losses.

"He would need to step up on what he achieved at Ascot last time, but as a four-year-old he's entitled still to be improving," said Balding.

"He's in great form, he won well last time and he was a course-and-distance winner last year, so there are a lot of positives."

Extremely smart at his best and has looked capable of winning a Group 1 since scoring here last year

Three defeats in Group 1 company have arguably exposed his limitations

Gustav following Winkle route

Gustav Klimt has a similar profile to only one of Aidan O'Brien's five winners of this event, that being Rip Van Winkle, who went into the race in 2009 without a Group 1 victory.

Giant's Causeway, Rock Of Gibraltar, Henrythenavigator and The Gurkha, O'Brien's most recent winner of the event two years ago, had all proved themselves at the top level before adding to their collection at Goodwood. Connections are hoping Gustav Klimt can now make the Group 1 breakthrough.

The son of Galileo has run in four Group 1s this year, finishing sixth in the 2,000 Guineas, third in the Irish equivalent and third again in the Prix Jean Prat.

However, his most significant performance in relation to this test was in the St James's Palace Stakes, in which he ran Without Parole to half a length.

O'Brien, who has pointed to there being a bug in Ballydoyle as an explanation for some recent flops, said: "Gustav Klimt seems in good form. He ran very well at Royal Ascot and again at Deauville last time.

"The better the ground the more it will suit him. He has plenty of pace and we think the track will suit him."

Consistent performer at the top level this year and his Royal Ascot effort puts him in with strong claims

Has yet to win a Group 1 after four attempts and will need a career-best to do so here

Can Lightning strike at last in Group 1?

Lightning Spear has had ten attempts at winning a Group 1 race and come up short every time – but increasingly not by far, with his last two runs yielding a short-head second in the Lockinge Stakes and a three-quarter length third in the Queen Anne.

Qatar Racing's seven-year-old now seeks to make a belated Group 1 breakthrough in a race in which he has finished sixth and third and at a track where he has won the last two runnings of the Celebration Mile.

Lightning Spear (far side) looked like he had won the Lockinge Stakes – but looks were deceptive

"He was very inconsistent last season but hopefully we can change that," said trainer David Simcock. "We'd love to win one of these but if we can keep him running well we'll be delighted.

"He's in good order and we're very happy with him going into the race. We also know he handles Goodwood well."

Fabre: 'You have to be in it to win it'

Andre Fabre is not known for sending big outsiders to British Group 1 races, and although he does not quibble with the 25-1 available about Orbaan, he clearly holds last month's Saint-Cloud Listed winner – here having only his fourth outing – in some regard.

Andre Fabre bids to win his first Sussex Stakes with Orbaan

"I think he's a fair price, but I'm also sure he'll run well," said Fabre, whose Silvestre de Sousa-ridden raider will be bidding to become the first French winner of the Sussex Stakes since Bigstone 25 years ago.

"He's a very promising and progressive colt. He's had a good preparation and this race will be a chance for us to test his ability. It's nice to have a runner at Goodwood and if you're not in the race you cannot win it."

Glitters chases Goodwood gold

Lord Glitters has finished second in five of his last six starts. The two most recent of those efforts have come in the Queen Anne Stakes and behind Beat The Bank back at Ascot, which underlines he more than deserves his place in the field.

Trainer David O'Meara said: "He's in good form and has run well at Ascot the last twice. Goodwood is going to represent a different test and I would ideally have wanted the track to have had more rain."

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I think it's fair to say that if this was being run on a straight mile or Ascot's round mile I would have a lot more confidence
E.W. Terms
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