Who needs the Olympics when we have ‘Glorious Goodwood’ to brighten up our lives for five days this week? The most glamorous racing festival after Royal Ascot, the hugely popular, Glorious Goodwood, will bring us pure quality for the duration of the five days, moreover, it will bring us the one and only Frankel.
Frankel, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, will be attempting to make history by becoming the first ever horse to win the Group 1 Sussex Stakes twice, for which he has been made a huge 1/20 odds on favourite with some Bookmakers to do so. Unbeaten after 11 starts, the highest rated horse in the world would appear to have the race at his mercy which should be his last one over a mile before being stepped up to 10 furlongs and whilst it is human athletes that are grabbing the headlines 60 miles away in London, Frankel is an equine athlete that should be writing heading of his own over the coming days.
The Sussex Stakes is one of two Group 1 races during the festival, the other being the Nassau Stakes over 10 furlongs for fillies & mares. The ‘Nassau’ has a very long history dating back to 1840 and has been won by a great many champions, including last year by Midday also from the Cecil stable.
Whilst Midday’s former stablemate, Frankel will be trying to make history in his own right in the Sussex Stakes next week, Midday made her piece of Nassau Stakes history 12 months ago, by becoming the first horse to win the race three times. Now, after a very successful career, the great mare has earned her place at stud which means that a new race Queen will be crowned on Saturday and there will be a great number of hopefuls.
The Nassau Stakes is run on the final day of the meeting and has attracted a hugely impressive entry list which includes strong hands from both the John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien stables. It also includes 2010 Epsom & Irish Oaks winner, Snow Fairy who will be making her seasonal debut for trainer, Ed Dunlop. She was second in this race 12 months ago behind Midday.
One of the most popular betting heats of the week is the Betfred Mile which takes place on Friday. It carries a huge purse of £150,000 making it one of the richest flat handicap races in the world. Trainers to follow usually are Mark Johnston, who has won the race twice in the last five years but it is thee John Gosden trained Trade Commissioner who is the 4/1 favourite to continue his upward curve in handicap company.
The second leg of the Stayers Triple Crown, the Goodwood Cup, over 2 miles should be as competitive as ever with a good list of entries, comprising of the leading lights from the Ascot Gold Cup in June. Indeed Godolphin will fancy their chances by running Gold Cup winner, Colour Vision against the horse he beat by ½ length at Ascotand who won this race last year, Opinion Poll. With luck they will be joined by Saddler’s Rock and GulfOf Naples, who were close up 3rd and 4th atAscot.
Glorious Goodwood starts on Tuesday 31st July and concludes on Saturday 5th August.