Lightning Spear strikes to win Sussex Stakes

Lightning Spear gained the Group One success his efforts have so richly deserved in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Trained by David Simcock, the seven-year-old had regularly found one or two too good for him at the top level in the past, but the perseverance of connections was finally rewarded in the mile showpiece on day two of the meeting.

Spotted moving powerfully under Oisin Murphy two furlongs out, the 9-1 winner found plenty when asked to come out on top from Expert Eye, who had raced prominently along with 7-4 favourite Without Parole from the off.

Lord Glitters was third, in a race in which plenty held chances at the furlong pole, but the previously unbeaten Without Parole was ultimately disappointing.

Murphy told ITV Racing: “I never ever get nervous before Group Ones, but I was nervous today and was trying to hide it down at the start. He’s deserved to win a major Group One.

“He loves travelling behind heels and I was sure Expert Eye was going to fade away at some stage.

“What a horse, what a training performance. At seven years of age, outstanding.”

Simcock said: "He’s done very little wrong apart from win a Group One, until now."He’s a lovely horse to train. He’s been placed in six Group Ones and has never really let us down."That was the horse we see at home all the time, it’s just getting it to click (on a racecourse). I’m more pleased for the horse than anybody."For the horse to get his nose in front in a Group One like that, it’s great."