Palace Pier v Poetic Flare: which camp are you in for the Sussex Stakes?
Poetic Flare and Palace Pier, winners on Royal Ascot's opening day, could clash for the first time in the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on July 28. Who do our experts prefer?
'I'd take a chance on Poetic Flare'
At the prices in the Sussex Stakes, I'd take a chance on Poetic Flare. I was absolutely blown away by his turn of foot when winning the St James's Palace Stakes – I think he took his form to a totally new level – and who is to say there isn't even more to come?
He was a comfortable winner, but Palace Pier was niggled at from quite a way out in the Queen Anne and didn't beat any superstars. Connections have hinted at stepping him up to a mile and a quarter and I'd like to see Poetic Flare have a go at him first.
Maddy Playle, RPTV
Goodwood should suit Poetic Flare
Many will be happy to see a rival that might be able to put it up to Palace Pier. The jury remains out for me as to whether Poetic Flare is a challenger or just the clear second-best, but you sense Goodwood is the track his connections would choose to take on Palace Pier.
Poetic Flare is quick, whereas Palace Pier could probably mix it with the best horses over a mile and a quarter if stepped up in trip.
He also won the Jacques Le Marois last year and would be unlikely to run in both that race and the Sussex. While my sense is the betting is about right, I would rather back Poetic Flare at this stage.
Keith Melrose, betting editor
Going could make all the difference
Ground conditions will be crucial if these two top milers clash at Goodwood and Deauville.
Fast conditions seemingly made all the difference to Poetic Flare on Tuesday as he delivered the most comprehensive performance of his career, while Palace Pier was able to stamp his authority on the senior mile division despite probably wanting slightly easier ground.
Poetic Flare has all the tools to seriously test Palace Pier on quick ground, but the latter has been brought along more gradually this season and may well be the one to beat if the word 'soft' was anywhere in the going description.
Mark Boylan, reporter