Glorious Goodwood: Declaration Of War can spike big guns in Sussex Stakes 'Duel on the Downs'

O'Brien four-year-old offers solid value against younger rivals Toronado and Dawn Approach

At Newmarket, the wall stood so firm that it appeared to splinter the battering ram. At Ascot, however, it only just held intact. On the face of it, then, one last heave at Goodwood today should be enough for Toronado to bring Dawn Approach tumbling down in the big showdown of the week.

After all, this downland ridge is very much home turf for Toronado's veteran trainer, who landed running here – saddling his 65th and 66th career winners at this meeting in the first two races. And Richard Hannon's belief that Toronado was below form in the 2,000 Guineas, when flattening out into fourth behind the runaway winner Dawn Approach, was certainly vindicated in the St James's Palace Stakes last month.

There was only a nostril in it there, even with Dawn Approach enjoying the relative run of the race. Dropped out from his wide draw, Toronado had to circle the field before losing crucial momentum when hampered two furlongs out. Those extra endeavours took their toll, and the Irish colt was just able to hold out for an eighth win in nine starts.

In turn, however, Dawn Approach himself deserves extra credit. If this was a less dominant performance than he produced in the Guineas, then it was still a pretty extraordinary one, so soon after his startling implosion in the Derby. Even by the singular standards of Jim Bolger, whose best horses have historically tended to match their brilliance with unflinching toughness, this was some recovery just 17 days after Epsom.

Ultimately, those weighing up short odds about both rivals in the Qipco Sussex Stakes should perhaps view Toronado as a collector of credible excuses, and Dawn Approach sooner as a collector of first prizes. "I'd say he's a hard horse to get past," Bolger observed. "Two days after Ascot he was bucking and squealing. That's the sort he is. A week later he's put up about 10 kilos, so it was time to get after him again. He has a great mind, and a great constitution."

Bolger describes his champion as in "mighty awesome form." The Hannon camp is no less bullish, but it would be typical of racing for some interloper to intrude on their duel. With Declaration Of War in the field, that is not a possibility to be taken lightly.

There is an incestuous quality to the form of the three-year-olds, after all, and nobody could be adamant as yet how they measure up against their seniors. After a breakthrough success at Ascot, Declaration Of War has since run a fine second to Al Kazeem in the Eclipse at Sandown.

It is worth noting that Mars, third in the St James's Palace Stakes, never landed a blow in fourth that day – over a trip that should have suited him rather better. Declaration Of War himself ran a curious race, briefly struggling to hit top gear despite the longer distance. Judged on the zest he showed at Ascot, however, this sharper test should be ideal. At 5-1, he provides a sound argument for settling the dilemma over his younger rivals by rejecting them both.

 



Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?