Circus Maximus on course for clash with Too Darn Hot in Sussex Stakes

Wed 17 Jul 2019

St James's Palace Stakes winner Circus Maximus could bid to confirm superiority over Too Darn Hot in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on July 31.

Aidan O’Brien took the surprise decision to drop Circus Maximus to a mile for the Royal Ascot one-mile contest, for which he was also added to the field late, after he finished sixth in the Derby.

The move paid dividends – with Ryan Moore excelling in victory on the Galileo colt, who held off King Of Comedy and Too Darn Hot, the last-named now the favourite for the Goodwood showpiece after winning in France recently.

Circus Maximus (left) held on from the fast-finishing King Of Comedy (right) at Ascot
Circus Maximus (left) held on from the fast-finishing King Of Comedy (right) at Ascot

“The Sussex is still under strong consideration,” said Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family, part-owners of Circus Maximus together with Coolmore.

“He doesn’t have to be supplemented until the end of next week, and Aidan will make a decision then. The horse is in good form, he’s versatile.

“You’d like to think he has plenty of options – but he showed at Ascot that he enjoyed a mile, so that is the plan for the moment – to go for the Sussex and then take it from there.

“As he doesn’t have to be supplemented just yet there’s no final decision, but it looks like it’s going to be a nice race.”

Among those also potentially in the Goodwood line-up are Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Phoenix of Spain and Lord Glitters, arguably the pick of the older horses after his brave success in the Queen Anne Stakes.

Watch Phoenix of Spain's success over Too Darn Hot in the Irish 2,000 Guineas again

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