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Lightning finally strikes after several near misses

 

By Graham Clark

Lightning Spear finally claimed a long-overdue Group One success in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

A field of eight runners went to post and much of the attention was on the three-year-olds Without Parole and Expert Eye, following their respective triumphs at Royal Ascot.

With Andrea Atzeni deputising in the saddle for the suspended Frankie Dettori, the previously unbeaten Without Parole was the 7-4 favourite to follow up his victory in the St James's Palace Stakes and found himself in front at an early stage.

Expert Eye, supplemented for the Sussex off the back of an impressive win in the Jersey Stakes, was always on his tail, and that pair, along with Beat The Bank, were the first to commit for home.

Without Parole weakened but Expert Eye stuck to his guns for James Doyle and held a narrow advantage over Beat The Bank entering the final furlong.

However, David Simcock's 9-1 shot Lightning Spear found a gap and powered home under a jubilant Oisin Murphy.

Expert Eye was best of the rest in second, with Lord Glitters flying home to grab third.

Simcock's charge was hitting the Group One jackpot at the 16th attempt, and the trainer said: "He's a lovely horse to train. He's been placed in six Group Ones and has never really let us down."

Plans remain fluid for Lightning Spear, whose trainer added: "They are all important and they all cost the same to train and they are somebody's baby."

Simcock also paid tribute to the part played at his yard by his wife, Jennie, who was to reveal after the race that the trainer's father, Michael, had sadly died on Monday.

Simcock said: "Jennie is a special part of the whole thing. Jennie and my children are so fond of him and he is just a very special horse to have in the yard."

Murphy said: "What a horse, what a training performance."

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