The Gurkha sweeps to success in the Prix d’Essai des Poulains
THE GURKHA, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains hero and one of two Irish-trained contenders for today’s battle of the Guineas winners, will be attempting to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a fifth victory in the Sussex Stakes.
Giant’s Causeway, Rock Of Gibraltar, Henrythenavigator and, most recently, Rip Van Winkle in 2009, a quartet of big-name performers, all won the Group 1 event for Ballydoyle.
So The Gurkha will be bidding to join exalted company as he chases a second Group 1 having finished second in the Coral-Eclipse, in which he lost out to Hawkbill by half a length, on his most recent start.
He will be dropping back to a mile in today’s showpiece, and O’Brien said: “The Sussex is always a very good race. We haven’t done a lot with The Gurkha since he ran at Sandown but he’s in good form and we’re happy with him.
“He’s a very straightforward colt and we’ve always regarded him as a Galileo with plenty of speed, so we’re hoping for the best back over a mile.”
O’Brien may have had plenty of success in the race, but the same cannot be said for jockey Ryan Moore. A win on The Gurkha would be a first in the race for the three-time champion rider.
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