Kingman vs. Toronado at Glorious Goodwood

By J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman")

On Tuesday afternoon (or morning, if you live in the United States!), Goodwood racecourse in England will begin its prestigious, five-day meet known as "Glorious Goodwood." There will be lots of spectacular racing over the course of the five days, but it's the second day of the meet (July 30th) that may prove to be the highlight, for it is on the second day of the meet that the group I QIPCO Sussex Stakes will be held.

The one-mile race for three-year-olds and up has drawn a field of five, but the race is being billed as a two-horse match between Kingman and Toronado. Both are milers in the truest sense, and immensely talented at their favorite distance. Kingman has won five of his six career starts, including decisive victories in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I) and the Irish 2,000 Guineas (Ire-I). His lone defeat came at the hands of Night of Thunder in the English 2,000 Guineas (Eng-I), but Kingman avenged that defeat in the St. James’s Palace, crushing Night of Thunder by 2 ¼ lengths. Having proven himself dominant over fellow three-year-old milers, Kingman is now stepping up to face older horses for the first time.

Toronado is one of those older horses. A four-year-old from the barn of Richard Hannon, Toronado spent the early part of last season chasing the top miler Dawn Approach in the English 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes, but turned the tables on that rival in last year’s Sussex Stakes, edging him by a half-length with the talented Declaration of War another 2 ½ lengths behind. A step up to ten furlongs in the Juddmonte International resulted in a dismal defeat, but after a lengthy layoff, Toronado returned on June 17th to win the prestigious Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot by three-quarters of a length over Verrazano. It wasn’t his best effort by any means, but considering that it took Toronado a bit of time to reach top form as a three-year-old, I expect him to be considerably sharper for the Sussex.

So great is the respect for Kingman and Toronado that the other three entrants—all very talented horses!—are being offered at odds between 16-1 and 40-1 by the various British bookmakers. The most logical candidate to try and upset the top pair is War Command, an Aidan O’Brien-trained colt that won the group I Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last October. However, War Command has been soundly beaten in all three of his starts this year, finishing behind Kingman in two of them. He would have to take a major step forward on Wednesday to contend against the two favorites, although a third-place finish is well within his reach.

Aidan O’Brien has another entry in the Sussex, the group III stakes winner Darwin. There’s no denying that the son of Big Brown is a talented colt, but this is a major step up in class for him, and given that his biggest successes have come in sprint races, it seems likely that Darwin will be used as a pacemaker for War Command.

Rounding out the field is Outstrip, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) at Santa Anita last fall. He opened this season with a last-place finish in the English 2,000 Guineas, but rebounded nicely with a third-place finish behind Kingman in the St. James’s Palace Stakes. He’s definitely progressing in the right direction and should be able to give War Command a battle for third place, but anything higher would be a surprise.

So all this leads us back to the primary question—will Kingman or Toronado win the Sussex Stakes? Choosing between them is as much a matter of personal preference as anything else, as both are good enough to dominate this race in the absence of the other. Toronado’s experience and advantage in maturity are major factors in his favor, but it must be noted that he will be carrying 134 pounds in the Sussex, six more than he has ever previously carried. In contrast, Kingman will be carrying just 126 pounds, an assignment he has handled with aplomb on many occasions in the past. It is a rare day when I let weight assignments be the determining factor in my handicapping, but in this instance, I believe the eight-pound spread between Toronado and Kingman will be sufficient to give the edge to the younger colt.

Who do you like in the Sussex Stakes?


Leave a Comment:


Hi keerlerman,

What the ground like for the race ?

Congrats to winners last week, did pretty well with the WS . Tonalist exacta.


29 Jul 2014 7:07 AM

Not sure about palace malice per your other blog , I think WTC and him will be close. Going to be a great race.

I also have high expectations for departing as a 4 year old, he looks great.....but a bridge too far on saturday

29 Jul 2014 7:16 AM
English Pete

Hi TnT, emeting's just about to kick off in 15 minutes or so. Ground is currently Good (Good to Firm in places). Weather is bright and sunny, with more of the same forecast for tomorrow. Although the ground is quickening, they might water overnight to maintain current conditions.

29 Jul 2014 8:39 AM

Hi TnT! The ground conditions at Goodwood are expected to be "good" for the Sussex Stakes.

Also, please note that I have amended the opening paragraph of this blog post -- Goodwood actually opens today, although the Sussex will indeed be held on July 30th. Sorry about that!

29 Jul 2014 8:42 AM

English Pete;

Thanks for the thorough update on course and weather conditions! Who do you like in today's Lennox Stakes? I've picked Toormore on top (along with many others, judging from his odds!), with Anjaal for second place.

29 Jul 2014 8:47 AM

There's a horse entered in today's opening race at Goodwood whose name might be familiar to American racing fans... Wigmore Hall!

The well-traveled gelding, who is now seven years old, has made frequent raids to the U.S. and Canada over the years, beginning with a runner-up effort behind Paddy O'Prado in the 2010 Secretariat Stakes (gr. I) at Arlington Park. His most recent trip resulted in a fifth-place finish in last year's American St. Leger at Arlington.

At the moment, with three minutes to post, Wigmore Hall is 29-1 in the U.S. pool. Wouldn't it be nice to see him run well, then embark on another transatlantic trip to Arlington?

29 Jul 2014 8:55 AM

Major news to report this morning: Social Inclusion has been transferred to the barn of Chad Brown.

29 Jul 2014 9:00 AM
English Pete

Hi Keelerman, I've had two bets today. Both short prices I'm afraid! Beacon in the 2.30 and TOORMORE in the Lennox. Unfortunately for the odds, his main danger Gregorian has scratched. Toormore was 2/1 before the withdrawal, but best price now is even money. He really should win though, and probably should be 4/6 so he's a bet for me. Just in: Here Comes When also scratched from the Lennox, in addition to the earlier scratches Gregorian and Professor.

29 Jul 2014 9:26 AM
English Pete

They're dropping like flies! War Command is now out of the Sussex. Won't affect the result though - there are only two realistic contenders and I'm confident Kingman will beat Toronado. Your reasoning on the blog is spot on so I won't repeat it. I will emphasise the point regarding weight concession - only Frankel has kept out the 3-year-olds since 2007.  That year (2007) a 3-year-old was held off by a head but they only received 7lbs in those days (every little helps!).

29 Jul 2014 9:32 AM

English Pete;

Thanks for sharing the news on War Command! Now I'll be curious to see what strategy is employed with Darwin on race day. With just four horses left in the race, all Darwin has to do is beat one horse to secure a group I placing. So even assuming that he was entered in the race simply to act as a pacemaker for War Command, I have to think that he will remain in the race to compete on his own merit, for a group I placing could potentially make him valuable as a stallion somewhere in the world.

29 Jul 2014 10:45 AM

-At Goodwood.

If there is some give in the going, Kingman should cruise at Goodwood. He has a superior turn of foot according to a Timeform report.

2-Different matter.

The performance of horses, as everyone knows, can change over time. Yesterday’s world beater could be today’s chump.

What matters is the current performance of a horse, not what the horse was 4 months ago or 9 months ago.

So what are the current rankings of the top horses in America?

For this, I use Timeform who are experts at this.

As of June 24, 2014, according to Timeform:

Palace Malice –No 6 in the world

Game on Dude-No 12 in the world

Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge both at No 18 in the world.

If Timeform says it, I go with it, regardless of my personal inclination.

29 Jul 2014 6:01 PM

JerseyBoy For such an opinionated experienced horseplayer this statement seems out of character

If Timeform says it, I go with it, regardless of my personal inclination.

If you want my reasoning just tap me a return post on yur keyboard.

29 Jul 2014 6:47 PM


This might surprise you. I have no fixed beliefs on anything.

I look at the evidence. If the evidence changes, I change my mind.

I rely on Timeform because they deal with the evidence when ranking horses.

By the way, when someone describes another as "opinionated" it is an indication that he has no evidence to counter what the other guy is saying. If he had the evidence, he would present it rather than calling the other person "opinionated", a resort to name-calling in lieu of evidence.

If you have a statement I made that you consider "opinionated", supply it and I will present the basis for my opinion.

Notice, I gave  reasons for backing Kingman and Taghrooda.

29 Jul 2014 8:46 PM


It appears the consensus is he has no chance of either winning or splitting the big two.

When he contested the 2000 Guineas it was his first start in 6 months. He looked a bid on the heavy side that day and his last place finish was reflective of his physical appearance.

He was clearly a much fitter horse in his Saint James Place effort but appeared to be struggling with the track in the last furlong. He was full of run but appeared to be going nowhere.

His 2nd career start was at Goodwood where he was caught close home by Toomore whose connections have chosen to bypass the Sussex for an easier challenge.

Outstrip who should be fully fit now and might be the early speed in the race. Should he be allowed to dictate the pace, I am off the opinion he can out kick the big two to the line.

He is my selection to win.

30 Jul 2014 12:11 AM
English Pete

Keelerman, yes Darwin is due to run on his merits and the trainer has said he'll make the running if nothing else goes on.

At 11.00hrs UK time, Going is Good to Firm and was watered overnight - nice day here again today, so it'll be quickening ground. Latest show: Kingman 2/5; Tornado 9/4; Outstrip 40/1; Darwin 50/1.

Hi Coldfacts, interesting take on Outstrip. He's a nice colt and I had a good win on him at Sna last year. I can't see him beating Kingman as there is nothing in his form to suggest it. The Goodwood second to Toormore that you mention hasn't worked out. For instance, the five horses behind Outstrip that day have mustered one - yes, ONE - win between them in 27 subsequent attempts and that was in a 4-runner Class 3 race worth £7k to the winner. Toormore was given his easier challenge yesterday because he doesn't belong in a Group 1. He couldn't win yesterday either.

At Ascot Outstrip was level with Kingman a furlong out and had three lengths taken out of him - both had a clear run, Outstrip on the fence and Kingman out wide. Kingman just looks different gravy on last year's form, this year's form, his visual impression and his closing sections at Royal Ascot.

I could see Outstrip splitting the big two though, especially if Toronado goes for home a quarter mile out in an attempt to take out Kingman's finishing kick. Toronado would fail in that, and then be vulnerable to Outstrip picking up the pieces. I do agree that you can write off Outstrip's Guineas run as he scoped very badly after the race so was not a healthy horse. The case for Outstrip beating Kingman doesn't exist, but there is a case for him beating Toronado, namely the 8lbs received by 3-year-olds. The Sussex has suggested over the past few years that this is too much for the older horses to handle (exception was Frankel). Toronado's official handicap mark is 7lbs higher than Outstrip's so the weight concession offers hope to the younger horse.

Anyway, for me this race is a must-see but a no-bet.

30 Jul 2014 6:15 AM

English Pete:

I like your style. You deal with the evidence and you clearly separate facts from opinions.

30 Jul 2014 6:57 AM

Jersey Boy Who is Timeform it is a consensus so when you make this statement you rely on a consensus interpretation of the evidence instead of an expert such as the difference in verdicts handed down by a single judge as opposed to a jury.

I rely on Timeform because they deal with the evidence when ranking horses.

30 Jul 2014 7:11 AM

Jersey Boy when you use the word evidence in rtelation to horseracing IT IS CIRCUMSTANCIAL sorry about my spelling it cant be proved without a doubt.

30 Jul 2014 7:14 AM

A race with a group of horses does not constitute evidence if the same group of horses ran the same race at least 10 times and one horse won the race at least six times then you are closer to any type of evidence.

When you pick a winner of a race before it is run that is your opinion if any of the bloggers who post yjeir opinions were not opinionated then they wouldnt think their opinion was the correct one and post it on this blog so merely by being on this blog and participating in this endeavor you can be considered opinionated.

I hope you dont continue to argue your character is starting to remind me of another one on this blog.

30 Jul 2014 7:20 AM

Jersey Boy

By the way, when someone describes another as "opinionated" it is an indication that he has no evidence to counter what the other guy is saying. If he had the evidence, he would present it rather than calling the other person "opinionated", a resort to name-calling in lieu of evidence.

Every person that participates on this blog and posts their opinions can be considered opinionated.

30 Jul 2014 7:25 AM


Here is a tip. Do not discuss the law. You do not know what you are talking about.

You remind me of someone. Both of you seem to enjoy seeing how times your names appear on the blog.

30 Jul 2014 8:21 AM
Pedigree Ann

So I just got back from the trip with our friends around  The South (of Ireland) last night. Wish we could have stuck around Galway for the Racing Festival this week (it is a majorly big deal there), but as the only horse-person of the quartet, I was outvoted. Would you believe it? The rental car broke down! After our car blew up the week before! Left us kilometers from anywhere in the west of Ireland for several hours before we could figure out which prefixes belonged where in order get to the right number. 130-euro taxi ride to get us back to the B&B, which ought to be on the rental company but watch them try to wiggle out of it.

ANYWAY, haven't had a chance to really look at the fields today. Looking at Observational as a rooting interest in the Gordon - hubby is an astronomy prof, and my Telescope/Professor double nearly came off at Royal Ascot.

30 Jul 2014 9:28 AM

English Pete

Your usual comprehensive overview is always appreciated. You are certainly closer to the action and your cold facts and opinions merit respect.

“I can't see him beating Kingman as there is nothing in his form to suggest it.”

When Kingman entered the 2000 Guineas he was unbeaten in 3 starts and was one of the favorites, if not the favorite to win. He was beaten by 30-1 Night Of Thunder whom he defeated handily in the G3 Greenham Stakes. What in NOT's form line suggested that he could have turned the table on Kingman?

At 30-1 the betting public concluded NOT lacked the credentials to win the prestigious race.  The fact that he finished 2nd to Kingman in what was his 1st defeat in three starts was of no significance. They both entered the 7F, G3 Greenham undefeated in two starts. Kingman’s 2 victories were recorded over 7F whereas NOT’s 2 were recorded over 6F. Kingman had therefore raced over the distance and NOT was attempting it for the 1st time.  If NOT had kept a straight course he would have won by a wider margin. Was it the straight course and the dip that made the difference?

Outstrip travelled to the US and won BCJ. He returned to England and was put away for the winter.  What impact did his trip to the US have on him?  I noted the report that he scoped badly after the 2000 Guineas.  It is interesting that he was the only horse reported with a negative scoping result. Was the 6 weeks between the 2000 Guineas and the St James sufficient time to recover from treatment and regain maximum fitness? He finished a creditable 3rd in the St James with that question unasked and unanswered.

An additional 6 weeks have elapsed since his negative scope. Will the talented colt be a fitter and improved animal? I think he will. If NOT was capable of defeating Kingman I see no reason why Outstrip should be cable to doing same. He was only a length and a bit behind NOT in the St James returning form sickness.

"The five horses behind Outstrip that day have mustered one - yes, ONE - win between them in 27 subsequent attempts”

I am not sure that’s an appropriate measure for Outstrip’s ability. He did travel to the US and win the BCJ Turf impressively. He finished 3rd in the St James returning from sickness and also finished ahead of Toomore in that event.  He has clearly improved whereas Toomore has regressed. The cream will always rise to the top.

“The case for Outstrip beating Kingman doesn't exist”

I find such an absolute determination disturbing and extreme to the maximum. I guess the case for Roberto beating the undefeated and 17 times winner Brigadier Gerard did not exist. On any given day any horse can be beaten.  

The case for 3YOs improving several lengths in 6 weeks does exist. Outstrip is a well-bred and talented colt. He will be facing Kingman as a fitter horse, at a different track and on ground reported to be good to firm which he favors. These two factors can be game changers.

30 Jul 2014 9:42 AM

Jersey Boy Here is a tip. Do not discuss the law. You do not know what you are talking about.

What are you talking about I used the judge vs jury as an analogy of Timeform(consensus) vs one expert

BTW who are you to know what I know about the law.

30 Jul 2014 9:57 AM

Jersey Boy You remind me of someone. Both of you seem to enjoy seeing how times your names appear on the blog.

I expect to see your name many more times I could care less how many times my name appears in fact I asked Keelerman many times if he wanted to get rid of Brontexx to go ahead and do it.

30 Jul 2014 9:59 AM
English Pete

Kingman WOW! A crawl of a pace, had no choice but to concede first run, then blew by them. 10.23 secs for the penultimate furlong, apparently.

Coldfacts, you justifiably picked up on a statement of mine, “The case for Outstrip beating Kingman doesn't exist”, so I'd like to clarify that. I did not mean that Outstrip beating Kingman could not happen. I meant my statement very precisely, and while I know full well that on any given day any horse can be beaten that does not constitute a case (in my opinion). I hope that makes sense, in that I held a very strong opinion on the outcome and though realising I might be wrong I couldn't see much more than an "anything is possible" counter-argument. By the way, I'm usually more circumspect than in this case :)

30 Jul 2014 10:22 AM
Little Bill

Brontexx, be persistent, keep asking, sometimes no doesn't mean no.

30 Jul 2014 10:39 AM

Little Bill you seemed to be well practiced in this arena

Brontexx, be persistent, keep asking, sometimes no doesn't mean no.

30 Jul 2014 11:27 AM

Sorry I'm late in joining the conversation, everyone! I was away from the computer this morning and, unfortunately, missed the Sussex Stakes. But I just watched the replay and -- to echo English Pete -- WOW! What a run from Kingman! When his jockey asked him to run and didn't get an immediate response, I thought Kingman was in trouble. But they way he leveled off late in the race and galloped right on by Toronado... that was breathtaking!

I was also pleasantly surprised to see Darwin hold his own against Toronado, missing the runner-up spot by just a head. That was an excellent performance!

30 Jul 2014 11:35 AM

The post positions for the Whitney have been drawn! What a terrific race this is going to be!

30 Jul 2014 11:40 AM

Pedigree Ann;

The rental car broke down as well?! Oh my, that sounds awful! I hope the rental company pays for your taxi ride!

Have you seen the entries for tomorrow's Goodwood Cup? It's drawn a terrific field, led by Estimate, Brown Panther, and Cavalryman. The Sussex Stakes was exciting, but the Goodwood Cup -- at twice the distance -- might prove to be even more so!

30 Jul 2014 11:58 AM

Keelerman :

It would be interesting to get the splits in the Sussex Stakes.

One guy said that Kingman covered the final furlong in under 11 seconds.

30 Jul 2014 12:41 PM

sar- race 2 wp#2 kellys prize

30 Jul 2014 12:56 PM

suf race 2 wp #2 kevins cool kat

30 Jul 2014 1:03 PM

sar race 6...wp #8 Kelwynne.......1 win out of 2

30 Jul 2014 2:54 PM
Little Bill

Waiting for race 8 at Sara. Huge delay, vet scratch over heated before it could get off the track. Good eye.

Waiting raised a question about lasix. How long is it effective, or when does time effect it.

30 Jul 2014 4:47 PM

Kingman's penultimate furlong in 10.22seconds.

From the Guardian:

"Briefly, Toronado’s backers may have sensed impending triumph as Kingman, asked to quicken, was slow to respond. Then came the surge that carried him through the penultimate furlong in 10.22 seconds, faster than Frankel was able to manage for any one furlong during his two victories in this race"

30 Jul 2014 4:57 PM
Pedigree Ann

Thanks. Yeah, it must be the Curse of the Vauxhall (the brand of car they both were).

The Goodwood Cup used to be the most important race of the meeting (yes, it was! back in the days when the main target for older horses in Britain was the Ascot Gold Cup) and it looks like a corker this year. Although the Stewards' Cup, a 6f handicap, is also a major draw, because it is 30 horses, weights 136 (excuse me, 9 stone 10)down to ..., well, the lowest of the 109 still eligible is 6 stone 13 (97 lbs), but is likely to be balloted out. Sigh, I first fell in love with my border boy, Borderlescott, in this race. He went on to win the G1 Nunthorpe S, but he always came back to his favorite course for the Glorious meeting.

30 Jul 2014 5:21 PM

Brown had one winner from two starters but Pletcher only managed a 3rd with four starters,luckily for me I see all their starters in all their races at Saratoga and the betting in all those races otherwise, It could have been a bad day for me too.

Candir was his winner and paid 10.80 6.10 3.80

30 Jul 2014 6:20 PM
Mary Zinke

Hi, KY, I've been away for a while, from Bloodhorse. I had to smile when I saw your bets for today. Always enjoyed those.  Do you have any running lately?  Or I can still stalk, ha,ha.  Maybe I will have some selections for the weekend stakes. Been starting new adventures in many levels :)

30 Jul 2014 8:55 PM

Hi mary z! i had another good day......   i sold all but a half......hoof problem.....2 months or so till gg.......i'm getting a website built that costs ive spent over 10 grand at the dentists over the last year!......hey! no much has changed, coldcuts picked a winner this year!.....ranag had another triple crown horse go bust!.....rusty still wishy washy! Keelerman loves everybody because he has to! New guy brontexx couldnt be any know.......the usual!

30 Jul 2014 9:51 PM
Mary Zinke

KY, You do crack me up, but I'm not trying to tick off too many lately. Need a type O.  Talking about medical bills. Big funds pay mine, for which I am thankful.  Wish you could show us your smile or did you mean those $$ were on kids' braces?  My pick-o-meter has been out of whack, so I cannot put down anyone's handicapping or wagering, but I actually did okay at Los Al of all places. Then, lately, Had Fed Biz and Bayern, Bing Crosby exacta, but you know I love the Cali horses. Keelerman does have a very popular blog. He does a very nice job!  And, KY, any word on the old guy?  Did he go to a farm?

30 Jul 2014 10:33 PM

Mary Zinke;

Welcome back! It's great to hear from you again!

Little Bill;

Those are good questions... it had never crossed my mind before, but I'd be curious to know the answers! Perhaps they will be discovered in the near future, thanks to all of the studies on Lasix that are being conducted.


Thanks for sharing the quote about Kingman's penultimate furlong! 10.22 seconds is positively incredible. You just don't hear about fractions like that in the final quarter-mile of a race!

30 Jul 2014 11:31 PM

Ky Vet New guy brontexx couldnt be any know.......the usual!

Kentucky must be a wierd place running cartoons at this late hour.

On the intelligence front Ill eat you for lunch and spit out the bones.

31 Jul 2014 8:54 AM
Rusty Weisner


Take a tip from KY VET and cut the nice-guy routine.

31 Jul 2014 10:25 AM

Bloggers here are the top 7 trainers the last year 365 days on the NYRA circuit brought to you courtesy of the August Horseplayers.Check out the win ROIs on Brown and Mclaughlin yjr two trainers that I follow year round on NYRA.GL to all.

BY TRAINER sorted by wins Run Date: 7/28/2014 3:55:46 PM





JACOBSON DAVID 874 193 0.2208 1.665 0.7947 372 0.4256 0.8689

PLETCHER TODD A 600 144 0.24 1.8097 0.882 244 0.4067 0.8516

RODRIGUEZ RUDY R 639 126 0.1972 1.487 0.805 234 0.3662 0.8086

BROWN CHAD C 419 119 0.284 2.1415 1.0144 200 0.4773 0.977

RICE LINDA 545 110 0.2018 1.5217 0.845 202 0.3706 0.8831

MCLAUGHLIN KIARAN P 348 95 0.273 2.0586 1.2088 147 0.4224 0.9858

31 Jul 2014 10:30 AM
Rusty Weisner


I'm listening to my inner wishy-washy and skipping the Whitney card this weekend.

I can't help but ask what your website will be.  About your stable? Will you invite us to it?

31 Jul 2014 10:30 AM

Well what can I tell you yesterday Pletcher had 4 starters and only managed 1 3rd when I looked the PPs yesterday I cant say I didnt expect 2 or 3 races where he would win or come in second.Are you surprised Im not today Pletcher only ran 3 because of the rain and the scratches and won two outta three.Mclaughlin ran one outta money and ALL of Browns entries were scratched I could tell you that this implies something going forward but maybe you can UNLOCK this implication with the PPs.

So 4 entries ran today 50% came in 1st or 2nd.GL to all.

31 Jul 2014 3:45 PM

good news that youll like mary z!  The old guy is learning dressage and the like......sounds like he found a good home........

31 Jul 2014 5:27 PM
Mary Zinke

Thank you, KY, for the update.  That made my day.

01 Aug 2014 1:48 AM
Mary Zinke

I found the article about the old guy at the track website.  He looks good, happy.

01 Aug 2014 2:32 AM

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