Farhh ready to prove he has come a long way with Frankel challenge


Those impatient to discover a fresh dimension to the greatness of Frankel must wait until York next month, when he will finally try a new distance. In the meantime, however, they are indebted to two old allies for livening up the British racing summer.

John Gosden yesterday committed Nathaniel to the defence of the Betfair King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. And his patron, Sheikh Mohammed, instructed the manager of his elite stable, Godolphin, to reinforce what had begun to seem non-existent opposition to Frankel in the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on 1 August.

Farhh, whose consecutive podium finishes in the Prince of Wales's Stakes and Coral Eclipse Stakes have announced him as a legitimate new force at Group One level for Godolphin, is to be supplemented for £19,500 at the five-day stage. Simon Crisford, the Godolphin manager, recounted a characteristic conversation with his boss.

"I asked Sheikh Mohammed whether he wanted to go to Goodwood, and hopefully finish a good second to Frankel, or wait for the Prix Jacques Le Marois in France," Crisford said. "And he said, 'What sort of stupid question is that?' We're really excited. The timing is perfect for Farhh, and the Sussex is a wonderful race. It would be a shame if there were just two or three runners."

At the very least, then, the Sussex could introduce a new gauge of the champion's capacity at a mile. In his last three starts, if by ever more staggering margins, Frankel has been followed home by the very same horse. Moreover he had already established his superiority over Excelebration as long ago as in the Greenham last spring. Excelebration seemed thoroughly fed up with his role as punchbag at Royal Ascot, so it is gratifying that Frankel will now meet a new, upwardly mobile rival.

And there is a distinct possibility that Farhh will prove better again back over a mile, having been more or less confined to the bridle when meeting traffic at Ascot, and then just been outstayed by Nathaniel at Sandown. "I think the best horse won that day," Crisford said. "But Farhh used up a lot of energy to get upsides, and probably didn't quite have enough petrol in the tank for that stiff finish. He's still on a learning curve, this horse. But you have to remember he is still only a Thirsk Hunt Cup winner. "

As for the horse who beat Farhh at Sandown, Gosden has concluded that it would be "wimpish" not to proceed to Ascot – even though Nathaniel will have had just a fortnight to absorb what was a very demanding comeback race. "As of this morning, he's a runner," declared the Newmarket trainer. "William [Buick] breezed him and was delighted. I expect the ground to be on the easy side, not heavy, and I think it would be wimpish not to run."

Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey were both trading at just over 3-1 yesterday on Betfair's market on their race, with Sea Moon around 7-2.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Gowanharry (3.10 Catterick) Has been indulged with a 3lbs rise for winning her first handicap, tried in a tongue-tie, a couple behind having won since. Contested a strong pace that day and this sharper track will suit.

Next best

Ghostflower (4.30 Lingfield) Very well bred newcomer from flourishing yard.

One to watch

Edge Closer (Tony Carroll) Has not been with his new trainer long, and looked ready to exploit a very good mark when third at Newmarket last week, going strongly but isolated from the pair who beat him.

Where the money's going

Carlingford Lough is 12-1 from 16-1 with Ladbrokes for the Guinness Galway Hurdle.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific