Goodwood organisers hopeful of good crowds despite Olympics

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

Glorious Goodwood organisers are hoping to draw good crowds despite the festival competing with the Olympics.

Gaining any form of profile during the 17 days of the Olympics is sure to be as tough as the final loops of Box Hill in the men's cycling road race.

But with an audience that is loyal to the picturesque racecourse, the festival shouldn't lose out too much.

"Plenty of people reckon they hate to miss Goodwood, so hopefully that's right," said course MD Adam Waterworth.

"We can't be sure until the meeting actually happens.

"It's also to our advantage that we'll have been going for three days before the athletics start, and of course, we have a very special day on the Wednesday."

Yes, day two of Glorious Goodwood in Sussex sees Flat racing's very own multiple gold medallist Frankel, officially rated the best racehorse on the planet, seeking to extend his unbeaten spree.

If successful in the defence of his title in the festival's feature, the Qipco Sussex Stakes, it will mean a remarkable 12 wins from 12 career starts for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah's colt.

Last year Frankel, trained by Sir Henry Cecil and ridden by Tom Queally, comfortably saw off the brilliant Canford Cliffs.

Afterwards, 10-time champion trainer Cecil, normally as reticent as he is iconic within the sport, declared the horse the best that he'd seen, let alone trained.

A prediction that as a four-year-old in 2012, he might be even better was apparently borne out by a scintillating success at Royal Ascot in June.

Sadly, Sir Henry is missing the race following further treatment for cancer.

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'Greatest ever' Frankel wows Ascot

Goodwood's one-mile, Group One highlight could well be the third-last race of Frankel's career before stud duties beckon, and it is expected to be his final race over a mile.

His odds may be as skinny as 20-1 on - if successful, a £1 return for every £20 invested - so likely to attract only the needy and the greedy, but tickets to watch have been selling fast.

However, while a bumper crowd is promised, Frankel will face no more than seven opponents, headed by Eclipse Stakes runner-up Farhh from Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin stable.

Barring something extraordinary, there won't be any problems.

Elsewhere, in-form jockey Richard Hughes is usually the man to follow at Glorious Goodwood.

And Hughes' talented mount Olympic Glory is likely to be a well-named winner whether his target race ends up being one on the Wednesday or the Thursday.