Farhh to take on Frankel in Goodwood Sussex Stakes
18 Jul 2012 | Godolphin's Farhh, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, will be supplemented to the QIPCO Sussex Stakes and take on the unbeaten Frankel in the Group One Goodwood mile race on Wednesday, August 1, provided the ground is not too fast.
Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, announced the decision by Sheikh Mohammed, Godolphin's founder and driving force, at a Goodwood press conference in London on Tuesday, July 17.
He explained: "We are really excited to be running Farhh in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes. The timing of the race is perfect, three weeks and few days after his excellent second in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
"I asked Sheikh Mohammed what his preferred option was, the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, in which he could come second to Frankel if not win, or the Jacques Le Marois at Deauville. He said 'I want to go to Goodwood'.
"We are delighted that Farhh is going to be there, provided the ground is not too firm. I know that sounds like a bit of a joke at the moment but we seriously hope the ground will dry out sufficiently but not be too firm for him to be able to take his chance.
"Farhh put up a really good performance in the Prince of Wales's at Royal Ascot after missing the break and not having a clear run.
"I think the best horse won the Coral-Eclipse - it would be wrong to say Farhh could have beaten Nathaniel. Farhh used up a lot of energy to get to Nathaniel and probably did not have quite enough petrol in the tank in the last uphill drive. It was a big run but he told us that going back to a mile would probably be a good thing.
"He clearly did not get the trip at Sandown and we want to drop him back in distance.
"It must be remembered that he is still on a learning curve, being very inexperienced. He might recognise Frankel - we tried to race against Frankel once before, as a two-year-old in a conditions race at Doncaster.
"Farhh sadly reared up in the gates, hurt himself really quite badly and could not run. I remembered on that occasion, as the gates opened, absolutely spitting blood because he wasn't able to run against Frankel. But, at the end of the race, I was thinking maybe we dodged a bullet there because Frankel was phenomenally brilliant that day, even though it was a three-runner race.
"Farhh's injury kept him off the track for most of his three-year-old campaign and it is only this year that we are beginning to get into some sort of rhythm with him. He is turning out to be a good horse.
"The stalls are a worry - he schools through the gates every day and he is actually as good as gold at home. But you saw what can happen at Royal Ascot - he does need to go into the stalls last and cannot be hanging around in them. He needs to go in and the gates to open. We will obviously be talking to the starter beforehand.
"Farhh in Arabic means happy. He is happy to run at Goodwood but we haven't told him yet he is running against Frankel!
"The QIPCO Sussex Stakes has so much history and prestige - it is a wonderful race and Goodwood is a terrific racecourse.
"From our point of view, Farhh has not done enough yet to establish himself as a really true Group One horse, having just won the Thirsk Hunt Cup. He needs to bridge the gap at some stage.
"The Goodwood track is a big question mark for him but the timing of the race suits us a lot more than waiting for another couple of weeks for Deauville.
"Maybe we will be able to get a five-length start from Frankel or even a 10-length start! If we could organise this, we would have a great chance!
"Farhh is in great form and doing really well - let's hope he runs up to his best. It will be a fantastic race and I hope it is not just two or three runners."
MORE GODOLPHIN GLORIOUS GOODWOOD HOPES
Godolphin is thinking of having plenty of runners during Glorious Goodwood, which takes place from Tuesday, July 31 to Saturday, August 4.
Tuesday, July 31
Bet365 Gordon Stakes - Group Three 1m 4f
Encke - Mahmood Al Zarooni
Simon Crisford said: "Encke is really nicely bred. He is a colt who won his maiden at Newmarket last year and then was off the track for a while. He won a handicap the other day at Sandown and I know he was widely expected to win in the press but actually he was a little bit short of work and ran very green. We have the option of running in the Gordon Stakes or the mile and half handicap for three-year-olds (UBS Handicap, Wednesday, August 1). He could be a Ladbrokes St Leger type of horse but he has got to prove himself."
Wednesday, August 1
Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes - Group Two 7f
Artigiano - Mahmood Al Zarooni
Tha'ir - Saeed bin Suroor
Simon Crisford said: "We will see about Artigiano. He ran in the Superlative at Newmarket and the ground was against him. This will be a tough race and well up to standard. At the moment, Tha'ir, our Chesham winner, would go there. I think it was a sub-standard Chesham. We have never really rated Tha'ir to be a top-top individual. He has surprised us a bit at the way he has come forward. He has done everything right and we hope he can continue to impress."
Thursday, August 2
Artemis Goodwood Cup - Group Two 2m
Colour Vision - Saeed bin Suroor
Lost In The Moment - Saeed bin Suroor
Simon Crisford said: "Last year's winner of this race Opinion Poll is not able to run again which is a shame. He came back from his Gold Cup second a little bit sore with a bone injury - it is not long-term and hopefully we will have him back for the QIPCO stayers race in October. Colour Vision had a hard race in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot but he was very resolute and tough. He is much better on a quicker surface than he experienced at Ascot. We were unable to see his turn of foot there because it was such a gruelling test. But he has taken the race well and his work is very straightforward and settled. He has had a lot of practice through his life and we are not too concerned about the undulating nature of the racetrack. We think he is a little bit better than we saw at Ascot. Lost In The Moment is a 110 horse, not a pound better than that, though if he can weave his way through tiring horses he sometimes thinks he is a bit better than that. He might run to 112 on a good day but that still leaves him short of winning a Goodwood Cup."
Friday, August 3, 2012
Coutts Glorious Stakes - Group Three 1m 4f
Dubai Prince - Mahmood Al Zarooni
Simon Crisford said: "Dubai Prince is an interesting horse. He has been very fragile mentally and he tends to gets very nervous when the race is building up. He looks like an absolute king in four-runner conditions races but he can get a bit shy when there are more runners. We found that in the QIPCO Champions Stakes last year and in subsequent races. If the field isn't too big and he takes to the track and his jockey is sympathetic, he would have a chance. He is rated 116 which sets the benchmark for a race like this. It is difficult to find races that suit him. The jury is still out with him - he is a very nice horse who has got plenty of talent."
Oak Tree Stakes - Group Three 7f
Gamilati - Mahmood Al Zarooni
Simon Crisford said: "Gamilati looked fantastic when winning in Dubai but let's be honest she was running against some fairly inferior fillies, albeit one of them was Falls Of Lora. Sadly, she had a small flake in an ankle which we had to remove before she came back to England so she did not run in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas. She has had a good time out - she is fresh and well and seven furlongs will be right up her street. She will go there with a bit of chance as she runs well when fresh."