Travel back in time

19th October 2023

The Qatar Sussex Stakes, won this year by Paddington under Ryan Moore, runs on the second day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and is one of the major mile races of the year.

  • #Goodwood

  • #Estatenews

  • #Racecourse

g521kj.jpg

The Qatar Sussex stakes of today is a significantly different event from the version first staged in 1841. In fact, had the race continued in its initial guide it is highly unlikely that it would have reached its current status.

When first introduced over a century and a half ago, the Qatar Sussex Stakes was a 6-furlong race for two-year-olds, but it was received with a marked lack of enthusiasm by both owners and trainers. During it 37-year existence under its original format, the race was uncontested on no fewer than 25 occasions, on 14 of those, there was only one runner and so the result was a walkover. Consequently, the format was changed in 1878 and the Sussex stakes became a mile race for three-year-olds. It was not long before the race started to attract the quality of horses now associated as a Group 1 event.

qgf23_jaysonfong_281-4.jpg

In 1885 Paradox, owned by American Broderick Cloete and trained by John Porter was the first horse to do the 2000 Guineas and Sussex Stakes double. Porter paid 700 guineas for Paradox as a yearling and at first owned him in partnership with Captain Bowler. The colt was then taken over by the first Duke of Westminster for the considerable sum of £6,000.


Twenty-one years passed before another colt of comparable merit to Paradox won the Qatar Sussex stakes. This was Troutbeck, who ironically belonged to the second Duke of Westminster.


The Qatar Sussex stakes received the royal accolade in 1909 with victory for Minoru, who was the first and last Derby winner for King Edward VII. In 1954, Landau was the Queen's first winner in the Sussex Stakes. The 1957 Inner Quorum was a rare big success at Goodwood for trainer Wilf Lyde and jockey Alec Russel. Although Russel is arguable best remembered for an afternoon earlier the same month when he rode winners of all size races at the now defunct Scottish track of Bogside. Only Sir Gordon Richards, before that and Frankie Dottori afterwards, have been through the card at a flat race meeting in Britian.

g7fj6p-1.jpg

While there was no lack of talent among winners, there was a distinct shortage of runners. In no year from 1900 had there been a double figured field. The Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup and the Coral Stewards’ Cup were at this time the 'big' races held at Goodwood Racecourse, and the Qatar Sussex Stakes was being primed as the next feature event. To avoid this problem, the event was opened to four-year-olds in 1960, and to horses aged five or older in 1975.


The Qatar Sussex stakes has come a very long way since its days of being a two-year old race in which few were ever interested. Now, it’s on the agenda of any horse with pretensions to being regarded as the top miler in Europe, as its Group 1 status clearly indicates.

  • #Goodwood

  • #Estatenews

  • #Racecourse

  • goodwood-racecourse-all-apprentice-fixture.jpg

    Latest News

    First all Apprentice Fixture at Goodwood Racecourse

  • jh1_7709-1.jpg

    Latest News

    Goodwood Racecourse welcome Racing Club as race sponsor

  • qgf23_jaysonfong_101.jpg

    Latest News

    The Leading Jockey of 2023