x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Frankel's horse racing legacy is hard act to follow at Glorious Goodwood

Showdown between Godolphin's Dawn Approach and Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad's Toronado will be the highlight race, writes Geoffrey Riddle.

Godolphin's Dawn Approach, above, will battle Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad's Toronado on Wednesday. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
Godolphin's Dawn Approach, above, will battle Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad's Toronado on Wednesday. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

Goodwood, England// As the five-day Glorious Goodwood meeting gets underway Tuesday, it is remarkable how long a shadow Frankel casts over the idyllic rolling downs of the south coast of England.

Perched high on the Sussex Downs, Goodwood racecourse hosted Frankel's two successes in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes.

The highest-rated thoroughbred of all time, Frankel claimed his crown as the world's best miler when defeating Canford Cliffs in the 2011 event, then thrashed Godolphin's Farhh by six lengths in last year's race.

It was to prove his final start over the distance, and such was his crowd-pulling power that, at this stage of proceedings, the ticket sales for Wednesday's heavyweight showdown between Godolphin's Dawn Approach and Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad's Toronado in the same race are still way short of last season's total.

"Advance sales for the final three days of Glorious Goodwood are well up, with the opening day also relatively strong," said Adam Waterworth, managing director of Goodwood.

"Only Wednesday, when the Sussex Stakes looks like being a cracking race, is down, and this is all due to Frankel, the winner for the past two years, having retired."

The week is littered with high-class contests, with Thursday's Group 1 Goodwood Cup in the grasp of Godolphin, who could run as many as three in the staying feature of the festival.

Godolphin have long targeted this fixture, having won the Sussex Stakes and the Goodwood Cup three times each and Saturday's Group 1 Nassau Stakes once.

As an illustration of the meeting's prominence, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is expected to attend tomorrow.

"Goodwood is amazingly important for Godolphin, because it is one of the great festivals in world racing," said Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager.

"I first went there in 1969 and even then it was fantastic, but it is more important now than it has ever been.

"My boss in Dubai loves every minute of it, loves the racing and quality of the racing and it is an important fixture in his programme as well."

The Goodwood executive had hoped to get today's Lennox Stakes upgraded to become the fourth Group 1 contest of the week, but the seven-furlong feature remains a Group 2 event this year.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Aljamaaheer had the option to run in the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in a fortnight.

However, the colt must concede weight to his 11 rivals, including 2012 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Krypton Factor, due to his success in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot, 17 days ago.

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