Solow to remain in Europe after Sussex win

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

July 29th, 2015

Solow maintained his perfect record this season in Wednesday's £1 million Sussex (Eng-G1) at Glorious Goodwood, but it didn't look completely easy for the Freddie Head-trained gray.

A stalking second behind lone speed Arod, Solow had to work a bit to reel in the front runner late in the one-mile contest. Under Maxime Guyon, he did just that to edge clear by a half-length.

"He is easy to ride. He doesn't pull," Guyon said. "After he uses his turn of foot, he stops a little bit, which is why he doesn't win easy, but he's really good."

A heavy 2-5 favorite in the market after dual classic winner Gleneagles was taken out of the Sussex at declaration time Monday, Solow has now won four Group 1s in a row. A scintillating win in the Dubai Turf (G1) at Meydan in late March was followed by scores in the Prix d'Ispahan (G1) at Longchamp and the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot.

"Maxime said that he was always confident that he was going to win but I wasn't certain," Head said. "The rest developed into a bit of sprint, they didn't go a fast pace, so the winning distance was never going to be huge -- that's why he won by half a length."

The Sussex was a "Win and You're In" prep for the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1), but Head, who won the Mile twice aboard Miesque and trained Goldikova to three wins in the race, was never been too keen on the idea of bringing Solow over for it. His wins this year have come at either nine furlongs or over stiff miles at Ascot and Goodwood, and he wouldn't find anything approaching the latter at Keeneland.

Head pretty much ruled out any trip to America with Solow following the Sussex, saying he has but one race left on his agenda this year.

"Solow's next race will be in the Queen Elizabeth II (G1) at Ascot [on October 17] and the softer the better for him," he said. "I don't think he'll run before and he'll have a well-deserved vacation afterwards."

Arod, exiting wins in the Diomed (G3) at Epsom and Summer Mile (G2) at Ascot, nearly pulled off the upset over ground that had pretty much dried and quickened following rains in the area late last week at at the weekend. The front end certainly wasn't a bad place to be as the course firmed up Wednesday, with Arod running a good one and Sands of Fortune leading throughout in a 2 5/8-mile handicap in the day's opener.

Arod is also likely to take a pass on the Breeders' Cup Mile, with the Prix du Moulin (G1) at Longchamp in September serving as a possible tune-up for the Cox Plate (G1) at Moonee Valley in Australia the following month.

"The Breeders' Cup is at Keeneland this year, but although he does go round a turn I think that would almost be too tight a track," trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam said. "He's well-balanced but he is a long-striding horse."

It was the uncertainty of course conditions that prompted Aidan O'Brien to pull Gleneagles from Sussex consideration, denying Goodwood race goers an opportunity to see an epic showdown between him and Solow. While the removal of Gleneagles now seems premature in retrospect given how the ground dried out, it does raise the tantalizing possibility that Europe's best three-year-old miler could meet the continent's best three-year-old middle-distance performer, Golden Horn, in next month's Juddmonte International (G1) at York.

(Solow photo courtesy of QIPCO British Champions Series Twitter feed)