The Legends Sussex Stakes at Goodwood: Our own horse-by-horse guide

Mon 27 Jul 2020

Click here to find out more about Legends Racing.

Ever wondered who would win a Legends Sussex Stakes? Eight horses will line up for the "Legends Racing" Sussex Stakes on Wednesday which will be shown on Racing TV (Sky Ch.426), and our Facebook and Twitter page at 11.30am, so make sure you tune in!

Some superstars are among the line-up as well, including Brigadier Gerard, Frankel and Rock Of Gibraltar.

The new Legends Racing series calls on a database of 9,000 top-class Flat horses from the last 50 years, including many old favourites, such as Dancing Brave, Reference Point and Dahlia, who will do battle with the more recent heroes of the turf, like Jack Hobbs, Galileo and Sea The Stars.

Legendary jockeys from over the years, including Lester Piggott, Willie Carson, Pat Eddery, Walter Swinburn and Ryan Moore will also all be pitted against one another.

Below, we have put the eight contenders in the Legends Sussex Stakes under the spotlight. Who will you be siding with? Find out more about Legends racing here.


Trainer: Sir Henry Cecil. Jockey: Tom Queally.

Record: 14 races, 14 wins.

Watch a full replay of Frankel's victory in the 2011 Sussex Stakes

Big-race wins: 10 Group 1s, including this race in 2011 and 2012. Flawless in almost every step he ever took on a racecourse, his exuberance, enthusiasm and sheer talent was a joy to behold and that pleasure was magnified by the fact that he helped to put his trainer back where he belonged at the very top of the tree.

“I cannot believe in the history of racing that there has ever been a better racehorse,” said Cecil, shortly before his death. While such a statement will always be open to debate, Frankel’s dominance of the sport during his 26-month career cannot be contested and his two victories in this race, the first where he silenced talk of a Duel On The Downs by beating Canford Cliffs by five lengths, were unequivocal.


Trainer: Dick Hern. Jockey: Joe Mercer.

Record: 18 races, 17 wins.

Big-race wins: Middle Park Stakes, 2000 Guineas, St. James's Palace Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes x2, Champion Stakes x2, Lockinge Stakes, Prince of Wales's Stakes, Eclipse Stakes, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and this race in 1971.

The first renewal of the race that has now become the Juddmonte International produced almost-unimaginable drama when the unconsidered Roberto ended the unbeaten record of ‘The Brigadier’, striking the grandstands silent at York.

Brigadier Gerard won the Sussex Stakes as a three-year-old, having earlier in the year beaten no other than Mill Reef in the 2000 Guineas. Mill Reef himself was never beaten again afterwards. At Goodwood, Brigadier Gerard beat French challenger Faraway Son, first past the post in the French Guineas and a mud-lover who was given his ideal conditions, by five lengths. Faraway Son, too, was never defeated again.


Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute. Jockey: Walter Swinburn.

Record: 6 races, 5 wins.

Big-race wins: Sussex Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

American-bred colt who came from nowhere in the summer of 1989 to bag two big prizes just a couple of months after making his debut in a lowly Leicester maiden. Ridden by Walter Swinburn in all of his six starts, he was often to be found to the fore from the start, but instead took a lead on his way to victory in this race.

Tracking the Sheikh Mohammed-owned pair of Opening Verse and Shaadi, he hit the front halfway up the straight and kept on strongly to defeat Green Line Express by three lengths with Markofsdistinction third and favourite Warning, winner of the race 12 months earlier, never showing.


Trainer: Sir Henry Cecil. Jockey: Lester Piggott.

Record: 16 races, 14 wins.

Big-race wins: St. James's Palace Stakes, Waterford Crystal Mile, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Challenge Stakes, Lockinge Stakes and this race in 1979.

After being defeated by Tap On Wood when favourite for the 2000 Guineas, he went on to prove himself at the top of the tree for the rest of the year in 1979. As a four-year-old he won the Lockinge Stakes but was off the course with injury problems for much of the season afterwards and narrowly failed to follow up in the QEII when beaten by Known Fact.

Kris’s Sussex Stakes victory came against high-class opposition coming both up and down and trip, most notably the July Cup winner Thatching. But Kris proved in a league of his own, beating Swiss Maid, the winner of the previous year’s Champion Stakes, by an effortless five lengths.


Trainer: Guy Harwood. Jockey: Pat Eddery.

Record: 14 races, 8 wins.

Big-race wins: Richmond Stakes, Champagne Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes.

Was crowned the leading two-year-old colt in 1987 after winning his first four starts and was all the rage for the 2000 Guineas the following year, but was forced to miss the race due to a setback.

Warning never tasted Classic glory during his career, although it was a case of what might have been in the Guineas as he landed two Group Ones later that season, including this race.

He raced four times as a four-year-old, with his only victory being in the Queen Anne Stakes, and could only manage sixth in the 1989 Sussex Stakes, which was his final start.


Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Jockey: Mick Kinane.

Record: 13 races, 10 wins.

Big-race wins: Grand Criterium, Dewhurst, 2000 Guineas, Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Prix du Moulin.

A winner of no less than seven Group Ones during his career, Rock Of Gibraltar was a true champion and was crowned European Horse of the Year in 2002.

The son of Danehill - who was owned by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and John Magnier - recorded his victories at the highest level in succession, breaking Mill Reef's record of six in the process.

He is one of the best milers we have ever seen and has had a successful career at stud since being retired from racing, with his offspring including Society Rock, Mount Nelson and Derby runner-up Mountain Eagle.


Trainer: Richard Hannon. Jockey: Richard Hughes.

Record: 11 races, 7 wins.

Big-race wins: Coventry Stakes, Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Lockinge Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes.

Take a trip down memory lane with our Sussex Stakes memories montage

"He was a brilliant horse, the best I ever rode from the first day I sat on him." Canford Cliffs was the apple of Richard Hughes' eye, and the three-time champion jockey rode Richard Hannon's star in each of his 11 starts, which included five victories at the highest level.

Canford Cliffs landed this race under an ice-cool ride from Hughes in 2010, but was no match for Frankel the following year and was retired afterwards due to picking up an injury.


Trainer: John Dunlop. Jockey: Willie Carson.

Record: 12 races, 3 wins.

Big-race wins: St James's Palace Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

He may have only won three of his 12 starts, but two of those were at the highest level, and Bahri finished out of the first three just once during his career.

A hugely talented horse on his day, Bahri finished an agonising second to Sayyedati in the 1995 Sussex Stakes. He may not have achieved as much as some of his rivals here, but there was no doubting his talent and his performance in the 1995 St James's Palace Stakes was one of the most impressive we have seen in that contest.

Click here to find out more about Legends Racing.

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