Dubai: Godolphin’s rising star Farhh has been rewarded for his recent high-spirited performances with a trip to next month’s Glorious Goodwood meeting.
The Saeed Bin Surour-trained colt, who was a battling second to Nathaniel in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown earlier this month, is scheduled to be supplemented for the Qipco Sussex Stakes (G1) over a mile.
His latest test on the historic Downs will see him take on Frankel, the world’s best equine star, who is seeking to become the first horse to win the Goodwood showpiece twice.
Farhh is no slouch, and appears to be in top form for an assignment of this stature.
He was an impressive winner of the Thirsk Hunt Cup in May prior to his strong showing in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1).
Things did not go his way on that day at Royal Ascot where he reared up as the stalls opened and was slowly away.
Dropped in behind the leaders he was asked for his effort two furlongs out. And although he did not get a clear run until inside final furlong he made good headway and was finishing on strongly approaching the line to take third behind So You Think and Carlton House.
Farhh was ridden by Frankie Dettori, retained rider to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who founded the Godolphin racing stable.
Simon Crisford, Godolphin’s racing manager, gave a detailed explantion on the stable’s website: “We are really excited to be running Farhh in the Qipco Sussex Stakes. The timing of the race is perfect, three weeks and a few days after his excellent second in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
“I asked Shaikh Mohammad 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’.
“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 ten-length start! If we could organise this, we would have a great chance!”
Frankel is unbeaten in ten races and six at Group One level.
Others likely to take him on are Richard Hannon’s quarter of Dubawi Gold, Harbour Watch, Strong Suit and Trumpet Major.
Hannon won the 2010 Sussex Stakes with Canford Cliffs.
“Strong Suit is definitely being aimed at the Qipco Sussex Stakes — it’s his big target if everything goes right for him,” said David Redvers, racing manager for the horse’s owners Qatar Racing Limited earlier this month.
“We know he enjoys the track at Goodwood and we think the race will be perfect for him.”
Adam Waterworth, managing director of Goodwood Racecourse, said: “This year’s entry is two higher than in 2011 and it is refreshing that so many trainers and owners are willing take on Frankel.
“The strong representation of three-year-olds is very pleasing and the Qipco Sussex Stakes is the first opportunity for milers of that age to meet the established stars at Group One level.”