Coral Sussex Cup final 2023 preview: All six runners assessed
Saturday night’s Coral Sussex Cup final promises to be another strong renewal of this prestigious event, first staged back in 1972.
The Hove-based 515 metres Category One competition has attracted a whole host of top-class past winners, including Derby hero Toms The Best, and a £10,000 prize is up for grabs.
Here we look at the six dogs still in contention:
Trap 1: Candolim Monsoon @ 4/1
Derek Knight’s home hope sprang a 12/1 surprise in the heats and then used his Brighton track knowledge to great effect when securing the fastest semi-final success in an adjusted time of 29.78.
Candolim Monsoon showed plenty of courage to sneak through on the inside of two other dogs at the first bend and then opened up in spectacular fashion to prevail by over five lengths.
Doesn’t always trap as well as he did that night but there isn’t much early pace in this contest, so a rails pitch means he has every chance of getting into a handy position once more and this 575m winner at Romford definitely has no stamina doubts.
Trap 2: Droopys Google @ 4/1
Posted a swift 29.82 when claiming an emphatic victory in his heat and ran on strongly when runner-up to Fromposttopillar last weekend, so this likeable sort is clearly in fine spirits.
Owned by the Nathan Hunt Racing Club, so is assured of strong support and hasn’t been out of the first three in his last six races, including when a 25/1 second in the Derby Plate final at Towcester, with Fromposttopillar back in third at 11/10.
Trap 3: Stellas Fruity @ 33/1
Another local runner who has exceeded all expectations by getting this far, finishing third at 16/1 in her heat and then staying on well to be a 40/1 second to Candolim Monsoon in the semis.
A 642m strike At Central Park at the end of April highlights where her strengths lie and 11 course wins, mostly in A1 company, are an obvious plus but it would be a major shock if she comes home in front at this level.
Trap 4: Wasted Monday @ 5/1
Has had just six races for local trainer Belinda Green, who took top honours with Ninja Kerry 12 months ago, but this strong-running dog really impressed when taking the first semi-final in a calculated time of 29.94 for his third win.
After powering past early pacesetter Queen Pink coming off the second bend, he stormed clear down the backstraight and went on to score by a length and threequarters, suggesting there is more improvement still to come.
Trap 5: Fromposttopillar @ 13/8
Overcame a big bump at the opening bend when showing outstanding backstraight pace to pick off Four From Two at the third turn before scoring by three lengths in the semis, so a slower time of 30.05 is not a concern.
Rab McNair’s enigmatic charge has been a short-priced favourite for all bar one of his 20 races and has prevailed a dozen times, landing several elite-level wins, including the Coral Olympic final over this course and distance.
Does occasionally fluff his lines at the start but appears less prone to such problems from the Hove boxes and there can be no doubt he’s the one to beat if avoiding any early mishaps.
Trap 6: No Rush @ 8/1
Trained by Monmore-based handler Carol Weatherall, this experienced campaigner has proven a rock-solid competition dog, reaching several finals thanks to his ability to keep out of trouble on the outside and stay on gamely.
That was exactly what he did again when following up a narrow victory over Queen Pink by chasing home Wasted Monday in the semis and another bold showing can’t be ruled out as the sole wide seed if there’s any bunching inside.
All odds correct at time of publication