Hawk Wing Heads Record Sussex Stakes Entries

The £285,000 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on July 30 has attracted a record 78 entries - nine more than last year's total of 69. The entries are headed by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Hawk Wing, who produced a front-running performance in his seasonal debut, the May 17 Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, beating five rivals by at least 11 lengths.

Hawk Wing is one of 24 entries (23 last year) made by Ireland's champion trainer, who has won two of the last three renewals of the Sussex Stakes courtesy of Giant's Causeway in 2000 and Rock Of Gibraltar last year.

O'Brien's other entries are Yesterday, winner of the Entenmann's Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh, Alberto Giacometti, Balestrini, Carpanetto, Catcher In The Rye, Chevalier, Dalcassian, First Dynasty, France, Great Pyramid, Hold That Tiger, Marino Marini, Middlemarch, Mingun, Sahara Desert, Salt Lake City, Shoal Creek, Solskjaer, Spartacus, Statue Of Liberty, Tomahawk, Twentytwoandchange and Van Nistelrooy.

Godolphin has won two of the last four runnings of the Sussex Stakes with Aljabr in 1999 and Noverre two years later. The 15 possibles supplied by Godolphin include many of their stars. Moon Ballad lived up to his billing by winning the world's richest race, the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba in March, Grandera was a five-length winner of the 2002 Prince Of Wales's Stakes (ENG-I) at Ascot, while Lateen Sails proved that his last place in the Sagitta 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in early May was all wrong by easily winning a Listed contest at York on May 15.

Godolphin's battalion is completed by Blatant, Bourbonnais, Bowman, Country Reel, Dubai Destination, Firebreak, Imtiyaz, Masterful, Meshaheer, Mister Links, Three Points and Western Diplomat.

Both of this season's British Guineas winners are entered. Refuse To Bend retained his unbeaten record when winning for trainer Dermot Weld in the Sagitta 2000 Guineas, while the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Russian Rhythm proved concerns that the fillies' version, the Sagitta 1,000 Guineas, might come a little too early in the season for her incorrect by beating her 18 rivals by at least one and a half lengths.

Newmarket trainer Paul D'Arcy could bid for another big race victory with Indian Haven, who provided his first classic success in the Entenmann's Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 24.

There are two contenders from France - 3-year-old Tashkandi and the 4-year-old Bright Sky. Tashkandi, owned by the Aga Khan and trained by Alain de Royer Dupre, won two Listed races in May before running well when third in the nine-furlong group one Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly on June 1. The Elie Lellouche-trained Bright Sky, winner of two group ones last year, made a promising start to this season when coming second to Falbrav in the nine-furlong group one Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp on May 18.

Other notable entries include the Terry Mills-trained Where Or When, who won last season's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, Tillerman, trained by Amanda Perrett, who was successful in the 2002 group II Celebration Mile at Goodwood, another local horse - the John Dunlop-trained Olden Times, Vodafone Derby hope Magistretti and classic-placed 3-year-olds like Tout Seul, Norse Dancer and Zafeen.

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