Sussex Stakes

The Sussex Stakes is one of the feature races of the five day Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse in Sussex. The Festival is held annually in late July or early August. The Sussex Stakes is run over one mile exactly; however, this has not always been the case.

When the Sussex Stakes were introduced in 1841 it was marketed as a six furlong event for two-year-old thoroughbreds. There was no change to this routine for thirty-seven years. In 1878 however, the distance was extended to one mile and the minimum entry age was changed to three years of age. This was mainly a move to establish the Sussex Stakes as a prestigious race in its own right.

The Goodwood Cup and the Steward's Cup were at this time the 'big' races held at Goodwood Racecourse; and the Sussex Stakes was being primed as the next feature event. The new version of the race won popularity quickly, becoming one of the most anticipated races at the course. In 1960 the race rules were amended to include four year old thoroughbreds; another change opened to race to five-year-olds in 1975.

A notoriously difficult race, which has never seen a multiple winner, the purse for the Sussex Stakes reflects the accomplishment delivered by the winner. At £300,000 up for grabs in the purse it is no surprise that this race only awards equine athletes of the highest standing. While no horse has celebrated more than one Sussex Stakes victory, there is one jockey who stands out as the single most successful rider to compete in this event (no, it is not Lester Piggott). Sir Gordon Richards won the Sussex Stakes eight times between 1928 and 1952.

Recent Winners of the Sussex Stakes:

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time


Canford Cliffs

Richard Hughes

Richard Hannon



Rip Van Winkle

Johnny Murtagh

Aidan O'Brien




Johnny Murtagh

Aidan O'Brien




Frankie Dettori

Saeed Bin Suroor



Court Masterpiece

Jimmy Fortune

Ed Dunlop




Michael Kinane

Jeremy Noseda

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