Pure box-office Frankel should provide a Farhh superior show at Goodwood


There may be the opportunity to turn £2O into £21, or even £200,000 into £210,000, as a result of 90 seconds or so of action at Goodwood this afternoon. The forecast starting odds for Frankel, currently the highest-rated horse in the world and arguably the best over a mile there has ever been, in the Sussex Stakes are 1-20. The rate of return is better than offered by most banks, but the betting branch of the racing business is adept at providing cautionary tales about odds-on shots and superhorses.

One of those most often told concerns another 1-20 "certainty", Glendower, who lost a two-horse contest at Chepstow. He was ridden by Sir Gordon Richards, one of whose followers always backed the jockey's best prospect of the day to win £1,000. When Glendower whipped round after the starting tapes went up and unseated the 26-times champion, he cost the hapless punter £20,000 which, in 1947, was quite a lot.

Richards was also beaten on a 1-25 shot, the high-class two-year-old Royal Forest, at Ascot. After taking his US Triple Crown the superlative Secretariat met defeat at 1-10. Brigadier Gerard, though, was a mere 1-3 when, going for his 16th consecutive success, he was turned over by Roberto at York, prompting his , Jean Hislop, to comment waspishly of the winner: "He must have been stung by a bee."

It will probably, though, take something like the assistance of a rogue insect to stop Frankel today, but the occasion is less about speculation than the appreciation of a truly and genuinely great horse. That point has not been lost on the public, with unprecedented ticket sales for this afternoon's session.

Frankel, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, owned and bred by the Saudi Arabian prince Khalid Abdullah and ridden by Tom Queally, has won all 11 of his races, by an aggregate 61½ lengths. His victories include seven at Group One level, including last year's Sussex Stakes and, most recently, the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot by 11 lengths, taking his earnings to more than £1.6m.

Moreover, the Galileo four-year-old is not only an outstanding talent but is also gorgeous to behold, with his bright bay hide set off by four matching white socks and a white mark in the shape of a brilliant-cut diamond between his eyes. He is not perfect; his temperament is explosive and he has a hard, unyielding strength through his neck and head that does not always make Queally's task easy. But he owns a muscular development that would be the envy of many in the Olympic Park and the sheer power and grace of his mighty stride are simply thrilling.

Frankel's rivals for today's £300,000 purse include his own pacemaker Bullet Train and the three-year-old Gabrial, rated 32lb his inferior. So that leaves just his contemporary Farhh as credible opposition, and full credit to the Godolphin team he represents for sportingly providing the crack with some sort of test.

This relatively inexperienced son of Pivotal was fast-tracked to top-level competition after winning a Thirsk handicap in May by six lengths, and right well he has acquitted himself, third to So You Think in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot before running Nathaniel to half a length in the Eclipse Stakes. He is classy and progressive and his moment will come. Just not this afternoon.

Frankel will probably not have to do anything he has not done before, or demonstrate anything new about himself on what is likely to be his last venture over a mile before he takes up the new challenge of his eagerly anticipated step up to 10 furlongs. So just enjoy, and remember, the spectacle.

The day, though, is not wholly about one horse, or even one course. The picture of this season's juvenile hierarchy is not yet on the box lid, but today's sport on the Sussex Downs should turn the latest piece of the jigsaw face up.

The Vintage Stakes is regularly taken by a youngster who takes high rank as a senior, including three Derby winners in Troy, Dr Devious and Sir Percy. A few of today's runners are closely matched on previous form, including the topically named Olympic Glory, who is fancied to give the Richard Hannon stable a hat-trick in the seven-furlong Group Two contest after a determined success at Newmarket on ground judged too soft.

But the potential of Ghurair (2.35) draws the attention. The Elusive Quality colt made a favourable impression on his debut in a traditionally strong maiden at Newmarket (and the fourth-placed finisher won by nine lengths next time) and, though he takes a considerable jump in class, his first racecourse experience will not have been lost on him.

Goodwood does not have the monopoly on festivals this week, though. In the west of Ireland, that at Galway is in full swing, with this evening's €200,000 Plate the highlight and Blackstairmountain (5.25), highly tried as a novice last season, is the suggestion.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Pearl War (2.50 Redcar) Produced a good enough effort on her belated three-year-old debut on testing ground at Windsor last month and should strip sharper all round.

Next best

Keene Dancer (4.55 Goodwood) On a hat-trick after a clear-cut handicap debut success and still looks on a workable mark, particularly with today's step back up in distance.

One to watch

Intent (Michael Bell) Will improve after Sunday's debut fourth at Pontefract.

Where the money's going

Dungannon is 14-1 from 20s with Betfred for Saturday's Stewards' Cup at Goodwood.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
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

Insight Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k – North London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...

SQL Developer - Permanent - London - Up to £50k

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum 23 days holiday plus Pension scheme: Clearwater Peop...

Primary Teacher EYFS, KS1 and KS2

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn