Farhh to Take on Frankel in Sussex Stakes
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 want to go to Goodwood
"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."