07/29/2001 11:00PM

Sussex has look of rematch


Wednesday's Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, the first of four weight-for-age miles that will determine the European challenge to the Breeders' Cup Mile, has the look of a St. James's Palace Stakes replay.

The first three from that Royal Ascot Group 1 for 3-year-olds - Black Minnaloushe, Noverre, and Olden Times - will face older rivals Bach and Distant Music, and the youngsters appear to have an edge, especially with the withdrawal of Medicean because of a minor setback.

Black Minnaloushe overcame trouble to take the St. James's Palace by a neck. He has since been a close fifth behind Medicean in the 1 1/4-mile Eclipse Stakes and will appreciate this return to a mile, over which he has also won the Irish 2000 Guineas.

Since narrowly missing at Royal Ascot, Noverre has lost his victory in the French 2000 Guineas for testing positive for a banned arthritis drug. He should be close at the finish, as should Black Minnaloushe's Aidan O'Brien-trained stablemate Bach, who was third in the Eclipse.

Distant Music, winner of a three-runner Group 2 at The Curragh last time, has not lived up to his reputation, while the 1000 Guineas winner, Ameerat, comes off a so-so fifth in the Coronation Stakes.