There have been a number of Duals on the Downs at Glorious Goodwood in the last few years and Ribchester is the form pick to win the latest version.
The Sussex Stakes is a Group 1 contest over one mile and Ribchester has the best form in the context of the race conditions. Churchill is a three-year old Classic winner but beating the ante post favourite looks beyond the horse despite a weight for age allowance. Zelzal has not done enough on the track to beat the two market leaders.
Horses aged three and older can run in the Sussex Stakes so it often brings together leading horses from the Classic generation and their elders. Since 2000 11 horses aged three have prevailed and the oldest winner is the six-year-old Court Masterpiece who won the race in 2006.
Frankel is the only multiple winner, with wins in 2011 and 2012. That horse was trained by Henry Cecil who is the leading trainer with seven wins. Sue Magnier which is basically Coolmore and Khalid Abdullah are the leading owners also with seven wins. Ryan Moore rode the three-year-old filly The Gurkha for Aidan O’Brien and Coolmore to victory last year.
Churchill receives an age concession of seven pounds from Ribchester and the other older horses. Enable showed in the King George that a three-year-old can overcome older horses with the allowance. However, the winner is a filly so she carried a full stone less than Highland Reel and the other older male horses.
On ratings, there is little to choose between Ribchester and Churchill but the former has the scope to carry the extra weight. Ribchester won the first race at Royal Ascot and the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, both Group 1 races. The Richard Fahey trained Animal is just about the best miler in Europe and can confirm that status at Goodwood.
Churchill will be far from a pushover with that weight advantage. The O’Brien trained runner won the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas earlier in the season but was fourth behind Barney Roy at Royal Ascot. That horse was second in the Eclipse, beaten by a nose by Ulysses so the form is solid.
The three-year-old colts division is strong this year and the Guineas looked a better race than the Derby. Cliffs Of Moher was second in that race but on collateral, form is a few pounds inferior to Churchill. Ribchester is good enough to win the race for the older brigade.
Lightning Spear could be the place value in a race that will have no more than 10 runners. The favourite will be odds against so backers of Lightning Spear will have bets settled at one fifth the odds for three places which holds some value.
Ribchester beat Lightning Spear by less than four lengths of level weights in the Lockinge. Lightning Spear is a good each way bet on that evidence but Ribchester can confirm the form to beat that horse, Churchill and the other runners and win the Sussex Stakes.