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Published 01 August 2012

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The Going is Good

Good Going for Glorious Goodwood Second Day

The going for the second day of Glorious Goodwood remains GOOD. It was dry overnight and the forecast is for dry weather today. The GoingStick reading at 9am was 8.2 (yesterday 8.0).

Seamus Buckley, Goodwood's clerk of the course, said this morning: "The ground has dried slightly but it is still good everywhere.

"I'm very pleased with the condition of the course and there was a great reaction from jockeys and others to how it rode yesterday.

"The running rail for the last three furlongs of the straight will, after racing tonight, go back to its original line to provide fresh ground on the inside for tomorrow's racing.

"I'm looking forward to a tremendous day's racing today, with Frankel the great attraction of course."

YESTERDAY'S ATTENDANCE

Yesterday's final crowd figure came to 13,162 after a provisional figure of over 13,000 was issued after racing.

This is between the first-day attendance of 13,345 in 2011 and 13,058 in 2010.

Managing Director Adam Waterworth commented: "Yesterday's attendance of 13,162 was very pleasing, being close to last year's level and above that of 2010."

Last year's crowd figure on QIPCO Sussex Stakes day came to 19,080, while in 2010 16,748 attended the second day of Glorious Goodwood.

OLYMPICS HAS MANY CHAMPIONS, BUT GLORIOUS NEEDS JUST ONE

Rarely can a 'walkover' have generated as much publicity, but any race involving world champion Frankel is a rich source for the press.

His appearance in today's QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood is the focus of today's racing coverage in British newspapers, and while it is possible he could be defeated by any of his three rivals it is most unlikely, as odds of around 1/20 suggest. As Templegate puts in The Sun, 'a tenner on Frankel won't win you enough to buy a bag of crisps', although, as David Yates of the Daily Mirror points out, 'Frankel has proved more reliable than many banks'.

It is a horse race however, and there have been precedents, as Sue Montgomery explains in the Independent when recalling how Sir Gordon Richards was beaten at Chepstow on a 1/20 certainty called Glendower who whipped around at the start. Montgomery also serves an uncomfortable reminder to Frankel fans of the day Brigadier Gerard lost his unbeaten record when a 1/3 shot in the race now known as the Juddmonte International. The winner, Roberto, "must have been stung by a bee" said Jean Hislop, the wife of Brigadier Gerard's owner. Fat chance of many bees buzzing around in this bedraggled summer, although as Rob Wright reminds readers of The Times, Godolphin's 'Farrh is a worthy rival'.

Despite Wright's Farrh cry, Frankel will probably cross the line easing down and thus become the first dual winner of the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, in which case it will be fair to say he is 'making history in Sussex', a point picked up by J A McGrath in The Daily Telegraph.

THE WORLD'S GREATEST ATHLETE

'Catch the world's greatest athlete', exclaims the front page of the Racing Post, which covers all the bases by superimposing a photograph of Frankel over one of Usain Bolt, while the same paper declares the wonder horse is 'A joy to behold'. In other words, feast your eyes, but accept this is not a race to bet on.

Writing in the Guardian (which today carries the full Goodwood card), Greg Wood says Frankel has 18lb in hand over Farrh,  and suggests the best value could be gained by backing him to win by at least 10 lengths. Wood tempers that by warning Frankel has other targets and there will be no reason to extend him today, but if he does win by a country mile at least no one will question the performance. Chinese swimmers may regard that as unfair, a subject touched upon by Marcus Townend in the Daily Mail.

Yesterday's opening card of Glorious Goodwood 2012 gave Frankel's brother, Noble Mission, a chance to shine, and his victory in the bet365 Gordon Stakes receives plenty of coverage, while the bet365 Molecomb Stakes won by Bungle Inthejungle also proves popular with reviewers. 'Channon hits the net with Bungle' is the Daily Express headline above a report by Bev Swingell.

Glorious Goodwood remains one of the highlights of the racing calendar, but this week it is fighting for media space against the behemoth that is the Olympics. An unfair battle maybe, but not as bad for the racecourse as shop and restaurant owners in London.

Retail sales in the capital are as 'dead as a dodo' according to the Guardian, while The Daily Telegraph headline above photos of empty streets states 'Hotels cut prices as tourists stay away'. 'Deserted London' is the Daily Mail'stake on the vacuum.

At Glorious Goodwood, however, the first day's crowd was on a par with last year, while today's attendance is expected to show a decent increase. Frankel is the key factor, but this racing festival's overall appeal should not be underestimated.

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