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Goodwood Wednesday Preview – War declared in Sussex Stakes

The feature race of Day 2 at Glorious Goodwood is the Group 1 Sussex Stakes over a mile. The race has been billed as “The duel on the Downs” with St James’s Palace Stakes first and second set to renew rivalry.

Dawn Approach battled back to deny Toronado at the Royal meeting, although it was a lot closer than their previous clash in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. Godolphin’s colt won by five lengths that day but the Hannon team were confident that their horse was capable of a lot better.

Fancied to spoil the party is Aidan O’Brien’s Declaration Of War, an impressive winner of the Queen Anne Stakes. He was then stepped up to a mile and a quarter for the Eclipse and ran a fine race to finish second to Al Kazeem.

The card opens with the gruelling two mile five furlong Goodwood Stakes. Any further rain will make this a very severe test of stamina but Mark Johnston’s Broxbourne will be well supported to follow up his recent Ascot victory.

The Group 3 Gordon Stakes at 2.30 is often used as a trial for the St Leger and John Gosden’s Excess Knowledge has the form in the book. He was a very promising third to the older Mandour at Sandown first time out and any improvement would see him home here.

The Group 2 Vintage Stakes at 3.05 sees the return to action of Coventry Stakes runner-up Parbold. Richard Fahey’s colt had no chance against the impressive War Command that day but is unlikely to meet anything of that calibre here.

Henry Candy’s Valonia put up a fine performance on her debut to chase home the smart Qawaasem. She may have most to fear from John Gosden’s Much Promise who lived up to her name at Lingfield when second on her debut.

Gosden’s Close At Hand looks progressive and can take advantage of a light weight in the 4.50. James Fanshawe’s Ribbons is unbeaten in three starts and must also have claims in a tricky handicap.

The card closes with another highly competitive handicap over seven furlongs. Tidentime, Askaud and Magic City are among a host of horses with chances.

Selections: 1.55 Broxbourne, 2.30 Excess Knowledge (NAP), 3.05 Declaration Of War, 3.40 Parbold (nb), 4.15 Valonia, 4.50 Close At Hand, 5.25 Tidentime