Kameko won the 2,000 Guineas this year, and that race is a good trial for the Group 1 Sussex Stakes over the mile at Goodwood this Wednesday. The favourite is Siskin, which won the Irish 2,000 Guineas, while Mohaather is progressive and has the potential to prevail. However, Kameko ticks most boxes and offers value at +450 with BetOnline.
The Sussex Stakes brings together the best milers from the Classic generation and older horses that are proven over the distance. Three-year-olds carry 8lbs less than the rest of the field, and Kameko and Siskin are that age. Mohaather must give away the weight and will have to be exceptional to beat the Classics winners over the distance.
It is a measure of the quality of the race that outside the top three in the betting, there is a Royal Ascot winner as well as horses that have finished second in a Classic this season. Witchita, Vatican City and Circus Maximus can be backed at +800 and bigger. The outsider of the seven-runner field is San Donato, which will struggle to be competitive at this level.
The combined price for the three market leaders is about -333.33, which means you can back the field at about +250. The form and ratings suggest backing the more fancied runners is a better option than supporting the outsiders. The money in the last few days has been for Mohaather, which produced something special when winning the Summer Mile at Ascot earlier in the month.
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That run earned the horse an Official Rating (OR) of 120 and a significant improvement on his previous race. Circus Maximus won the Queens Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot with Mohaather five lengths adrift in seventh place. That was a level-weights contest, so it will be a big ask for Mohaather to reverse the form carrying eight pounds more than Circus Maximus.
Siskin’s current OR is 116, but the weight-for-age allowance puts him ahead of Mohaather on the figures. In theory, Siskin has four pounds in hand over that horse and could improve to win the Group 1 highlight. Siskin is unbeaten in five starts and won the Irish 2,000 Guineas without having the run of the race until the closing stages. Despite no luck in running, Siskin was one-and-three-quarter lengths too good for Vatican City in second place.
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The 2,000 Guineas often proves to be the best mile race of the season on the subsequent ratings and the form of the place-getters. Kameko only beat Wichita by a neck at Newmarket but was more value for that margin of victory. The horse did not seem to stay in the Derby and the form of that race is questionable. The return to a mile is another positive for Kameko.
However, there is one potential negative and that is the going. Kameko won the 2,000 Guineas on firm ground on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. The ground at Goodwood looks like being good and good-to-soft in places. Kameko’s prospects would be compromised by rain, as the horse has not won on soggy ground. The overnight forecast suggests a small chance of rain.
Kameko ran to an Official Rating of 118 in the Guineas and improved by one pound despite finishing off the pace behind Serpentine in the Derby. The winner was given an easy lead but didn’t come back to the field. Kameko was fourth, six lengths adrift of Serpentine. The weight allowance could make all the difference in the Sussex Stakes.