Tuesday 20 August 2019

Circus Maximus and Too Darn Hot set for Sussex rematch

Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Too Darn Hot and Circus Maximus could be set for an intriguing rematch in this month's Sussex Stakes as supplementing the latter is under "strong consideration" by connections of Aidan O'Brien's St James's Palace winner.

O'Brien took the surprise decision to drop Circus Maximus back to a mile at Royal Ascot - where he was a late addition to the field - and it paid great dividends as the Galileo colt held off King Of Comedy and John Gosden's Too Darn Hot in a thrilling finish.

Too Darn Hot looked back to his best when subsequently scoring in the Group One Prix Jean Prat at Deauville earlier this month and will hope to turn the tables should Circus Maximus turn up at Goodwood in two weeks, as expected.

"You'd like to think he has plenty of options - but he showed at Ascot that he enjoyed a mile, so that is the plan for the moment - to go for the Sussex and then take it from there.

"As he doesn't have to be supplemented just yet, there's no final decision, but it looks like it's going to be a nice race," Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family - part-owners of Circus Maximus along with Coolmore - said.

Meanwhile, the Group Three Meld Stakes (7.50) is the feature at Leopardstown tonight where O'Brien is represented by Cape Of Good Hope and Mohawk. Both struggled on their most recent outings - albeit in much better company in the Belmont Derby and French Derby respectively - and have something to prove but there's no doubting their class.

Jim Bolger's recruit Ancient Spirit - which landed last year's German 2,000 Guineas - is another to note but Jessica Harrington's Pincheck may be the most reliable option in a tricky €60,000 affair.

A previous course winner before a disappointing stint in the US, the son of Invincible Spirit will improve for his reappearance when third in a Listed contest at the Curragh last month and Shane Foley's mount can oblige.

Down south in Killarney, Augustine Leahy's Wait Here may land the Dawn Milk Run Handicap Hurdle (4.25) and defeat likely favourite Ming Dynasty.

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