Paddington has all the answers in Sussex Stakes
Paddington made it a brilliant six from six for the season with a dominant front-running victory in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
The Siyouni colt has not looked back since making a successful start to his campaign in a handicap at Leopardstown, winning a Listed race at the Curragh, the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes before successfully stepping up to 10 furlongs in the Coral-Eclipse.
Dropping back to a mile, Aidan O’Brien’s teak-tough three-year-old was the 4-9 favourite to make light of testing conditions and controlled matters from flag-fall in the hands of Ryan Moore.
Three-time Group One-winning filly Inspiral was the first of his challengers to throw down the gauntlet, but her effort was short lived and in the end it was French raider Facteur Cheval who emerged as the biggest threat.
But try as he might, he could never quite get on terms with Paddington, who had matters well in control as he passed the post with a length and a half in hand.
The winner was emulating former Ballydoyle great Giant’s Causeway by completing the St James’s Palace, Coral-Eclipse, Sussex Stakes treble.
The ‘Iron Horse’, as he was affectionately known, went on to add the Juddmonte International at York to his CV 23 years ago.
O’Brien said: He’s a very special horse. We were worried about the ground – even though he’d won on it, it wasn’t in this class of race and Ryan rode him for speed. He was over the moon with him and we’re so lucky to have him.
“I’m so delighted for the lads, he’s a very special horse.
“We’ll do whatever the lads want to do. He’s much quicker than Giant’s Causeway was, he’s tactically quick, but he can quicken as well. ‘The Giant’ was tactically quick, but he was a grinder after that.
“This horse can really turn it on when you have to, he’s very unique. It will depend on what the lads want to do and we’ll talk to them after a week.”
Paddington’s next stop is almost certain to be the Knavesmire on August 23.
O’Brien added: “He’s unique. It will depend on what the lads want to do and we’ll talk to them after a week, but he’s got a lot of options. He could go to York, he could do anything. But he’s very special, we think.
“With every race, he’s getting heavier, which is very unusual, and he’s getting calm, but he’s getting quick. He’s really trying. He’s three or four kilos heavier today than he was the last day.
“It is special that we have Peter (Brant) and Stephanie (Seymour) today that we didn’t have before with him. He’s very exciting.
“We love these big days and I’m delighted that the lads are happy to run on them.”
Moore was in agreement with O’Brien on Paddington’s special qualities.
He said: “It doesn’t matter whether it’s good ground, soft ground, heavy ground, eight or 10 furlongs he’s a unique horse. Some people say he’s taken us by surprise, but I can assure you he hasn’t because all this year he’s shown he’s a very good horse. He can cope with most things.”
And Brant, who has owned some great horses over the years, was thrilled to be at Goodwood for the first time.
“I’m honoured to be here at Glorious Goodwood. I was first in the game in 1976, so I’ve been in horse racing for quite a while,” said the American industrialist and art collector.
“This horse has a great name – Mrs (Sue) Magnier chose the name and she usually chooses great names, this one included.
“I must say this is among the greatest horses I’ve been proud enough to own. We won the Kentucky Derby in 1984 with a horse called Swale who was a great racehorse, but this horse has done a lot of special things that are hard to do. To win four Group Ones like this in such a short space of time and to look as grand as he does and to be gaining weight not losing weight is extraordinary.”
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