Frankel set for Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood

Frankel

Glorious Goodwood Festival

Venue:
Goodwood racecourse, Sussex
Date:
Tuesday 31 July to Saturday 4 August
Coverage:
Live coverage of the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday 1 August at 15:10 BST on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

Unbeaten Frankel will seek a 12th straight win as he bids to defend his Sussex Stakes title at Glorious Goodwood on Wednesday.

The colt is rated about a 1-16 shot by bookmakers to see off his three rivals.

His trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, enjoyed an opening day festival double.

Cecil is having cancer treatment and is unable to attend this week, but Frankel's brother Noble Mission took the Gordon Stakes in a photo finish and Chachamaidee won the Lennox Stakes.

Frankel, the world's top-rated racehorse, beat Canford Cliffs by five lengths in last year's Sussex Stakes.

Opposition on Wednesday includes Godolphin's four-year-old Farhh, third in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and second in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown last time.

Stablemate and pacemaker Bullet Train, and Richard Fahey's Gabrial, who stepped up from handicap company to finish fifth in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, are the only other runners.

Mark Johnston, seven times leading trainer at the prestigious Goodwood meeting, claimed an impressive victory in the opening race of the week as new jockey Darren Egan picked up the pace two furlongs out to win by two-and-a-half lengths on Landaman.

Cecil then secured the Gordon Stakes for the second time - the first was way back in 1983 when Lester Pigott rode John French.

Encke, ridden by Mickael Barzalona, appeared to have the race won on the rails, but Tom Queally pressed Noble Mission and edged the photograph by a nose, with favourite Michelangelo third.

The Richard Hannon-Richard Hughes partnership was looking for a third win in five years in the Lennox Stakes over seven furlongs, but finished a length and a half adrift in second as Chachamaidee powered through the field.

Clerk of the Course Seamus Buckley was pleased with the first day of the festival and expects Wednesday to be just as successful.

Frankel

"The trainers and the jockeys are happy and say that the course rode extremely well," he said.

"We won't be doing anything out of the ordinary before racing tomorrow apart from getting the course all walked back and levelled. We're hopeful of another dry day tomorrow following a dry night so it looks like we'll still be racing on good ground tomorrow."

Ladies' Day on Thursday features the Goodwood Cup over two miles, won last year by Frankie Dettori on Opinion Poll, who was second to Dettori and Colour Vision in this year's Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

There are currently 43 horses entered for the Goodwood Mile on Friday, with John Gosden-trained four-year-old Trade Commissioner highly regarded after completing successive wins over the distance in the Challenge Handicap at Sandown.

Hoof It, owned by golfer Lee Westwood and agent Chubby Chandler, has withdrawn from Saturday's Stewards' Cup.

James Fanshawe's Hallelujah, third in the Summer Stakes at York last time, has been at the head of the market for some time and is still in contention for a start.

Also on the final day is the Group One Nassau Stakes, won for the last three years by Cecil's Midday, who has since been retired.

Timepiece is Cecil's offering this year, while Gosden has strong contenders in Izzi Top and The Fugue.

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