Gleneagles primed for Sussex Stakes swoop
Last Updated: 13/07/15 4:00pm
Gleneagles is firmly on course for a titanic clash with French ace Solow in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
The dual 2000 Guineas and St James's Palace hero delighted trainer Aidan O'Brien in a piece of work on Friday and is all set to take on older horses for the first time in the mile showpiece on July 29.
Coolmore's UK representative Kevin Buckley said: "I met Aidan and Joseph on Saturday in Newmarket and they said he is in great shape and did a nice piece of work the previous day. Hopefully he will live up to expectations on the Sussex Downs.
"He is a specialist miler and Aidan O'Brien holds him in high esteem. He is a very tough horse, with a low action and you can see the Giant's Causeway coming through in him."
The question of who will ride Gleneagles is up in the air, however, with Ryan Moore awaiting news on how long he will be on the sidelines for after being injured in a stalls incident at Newmarket last week.
His father Gary Moore said on Saturday he expected his son to be out for "more than a month."
Buckley, speaking at a Goodwood preview lunch, said: "Ryan's accident only happened recently and we are still awaiting further updates, but it is an injury that is going to take some time and he needs to take that time, so when he comes back he is back to himself.
"We will stick with the position of using the best available on the day."
Solow was also successful at Royal Ascot, landing the Queen Anne Stakes to follow up his brilliant display in Dubai on World Cup night.
Trainer Freddy Head, who would like to see some rain, said: "Solow is very well, I'm very happy with him. I'm coming over here because it's a good race and as he's a gelding there are not many races in France for him.
"It's a very valuable race, the horse won at Ascot and we will try to win in Britain once more.
"I thought he ran a very good race at Ascot and I was happy with his run, I think it was as good as the other races he has won.
"He's an easy horse to ride and has plenty of speed, so the track will not be a problem.
"Obviously he is a very good horse, he was a bit backward and it took a bit of time for him to come to hand, but he is one of the better ones among the ones I have trained.
"It's going to be tough, Gleneagles is a very good horse and is the champion, but he has had a hard season for a three-year-old. It will be a great race, but I would like to see some rain as softer ground would help me more."
Toormore and Night Of Thunder were fourth and fifth respectively for Richard Hannon and are set to renew rivalries, ground permitting.
Hannon said: "Night Of Thunder won't run in the Sussex Stakes unless he gets some rain, while Toormore could be competitive.
"I was not happy at Ascot, but they both ran to the best of their abilities. I think Night Of Thunder may be better on a more turning track, while Toormore had to do all the donkey work out in front that day.
"Something will have to be different at Goodwood for them to beat those that finished in front.
"I can only see them getting closer to Solow rather than beating him."