THE highlight of the Sussex racing calendar is undoubtedly the Glorious Goodwood Festival. The five-day meeting gets underway on Tuesday and will provide the usual mix of superb racing, suave sophistication and a setting on the Sussex Downs that makes it one of – if not the – most beautiful racecourses in the world.
There is a whole host of high class races and the feature in terms of quality is the Sussex Stakes over a mile on the second day.
The likely presence of the best racehorse in the world, Frankel, will undoubtedly ensure a near capacity crowd will be on hand to see this superstar bid for a second win in the race, having won last year’s renewal in what was billed at the time as the ‘Duel on the Downs’ when he destroyed the hitherto imperious miler Canford Cliffs.
This race is a stepping stone for Frankel towards a step up in trip in the Juddmonte International at York next month – and the racing world would be aghast if the four-year-old colt was beaten next week at a trip which every aficionado of the sport believes him to be unbeatable.
A whole host of extremely competitive handicaps support the pattern races and winner-finding is never easy – but for a great day out at the races there is nowhere better than Goodwood when the sun is shining.
If you would like more details on ticketing, hospitality or anything else about the Festival visit the website www.goodwood.co.uk.
Local trainer Gary Moore is always keen on a winner on the Sussex Downs and he has a couple of two-year-olds going next week that he likes, as he explained to me earlier this week: “I’m most hopeful for Jubilee Brig and Angena Beach,” he said.
“The first one runs in the nursery and, whilst you know winning is always tough there, I’d like to think he’ll be in the shake-up.”
An indicator of the regard Moore holds for Jubilee Brig is the fact he ran him in the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting in June.
And whilst he was unable to make an impact in what is arguably proving to be the hottest two-year-old race run so far in the UK, his previous win and also his second behind the speedy Bungleinthejungle strongly suggest that Moore’s hopes for a prominent display next week are far from misplaced.
Another nice two-year-old from the Cisswood yard is Dutch Masterpiece, who won on his racecourse debut at Southwell after having been previously withdrawn from his intended first run when bolting prior to the race.
He is an intended runner at the big York meeting tomorrow and Gary elaborated on his chance in what looks like another competitive nursery: “I don’t have many runners at York so that probably tells you something.
“When he had to be withdrawn it was the first time he had been on grass since his breeze up at the Sales.
“I think he just thought, ‘I’ve got to go now’, and took off. It was also a very busy day and horrible weather, very windy and lots to distract him.
“On Saturday, I’m hoping the rain forecast does arrive and ideally he would get good to soft ground. But I’d be happy with good and I think he runs off a fair mark.
“He has done well since his win.”
There is some good prize money on offer for this contest and if Dutch Masterpiece does not become overawed by the atmosphere of a raucous Yorkshire crowd he appears to have at least a fighting chance of bringing the majority of the prize money back down south.