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Heavy Metal - Glorious Goodwood 2/8/2012

Who will punters be cheering on to Goodwood glory on Tuesday?

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

What to look out for on day one at Goodwood

SCARCELY believably, we have already arrived at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in a year that seems to be flashing by in the blink of an eye.

While Irish racing fans revel in the delights of both the Flat and the jumps over at Galway, Goodwood represents the latest opportunity for the best performers on the level to pit their wits against each other once more.

Unlike some other major festivals (Cheltenham and Royal Ascot spring to mind), Goodwood gets off to something of a slower start, with no Group 1 races on the opening day - the Group 2 Lennox Stakes is the feature.

That's not to say the day is without great quality and intrigue though, so allow us to point you in the direction of some of the stars and storylines likely to dominate the afternoon when the action gets underway at 2.00.

HOME OF THE BRAVE

Home Of The Brave (right) will bid to follow up his Jury Stakes win

  PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)  

Home Of The Brave to continue winning ways?

But for an eleventh hour problem, Home Of The Brave would have lined up in the July Cup over six furlongs a few weeks ago. Instead, he turns up in the Lennox Stakes over seven in a bid to extend his winning streak.

Hugo Palmer seems to have found the secret of calming Home Of The Brave down, allowing the now four-year-old to make best use of his considerable talents having so often blown his chances through keenness.

He is yet to register a victory at anything higher than a Group 3 but seven furlongs is surely his optimum trip and Tuesday's race presents a perfect opportunity to land the biggest win of his career and make it three on the bounce.

Highland Reel

The King George winner Highland Reel is a Vintage Stakes hero

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) 

Will a star be born in the Vintage Stakes?

The other Group 2 contest on the opening day is the Vintage Stakes for two-year-olds, a race that has produced some real stars in recent years.

The race went the way of the subsequent 2,000 Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes hero Galileo Gold 12 months ago, while Saturday's King George winner Highland Reel scooped the prize in 2014.

In 2012, it was Olympic Glory and in 2013 Toormore was the victor, so the question is this: is there another star of the future lurking among the ten heading to post on Tuesday?

Boynton is undefeated and impressed when winning the Group 2 Superlative Stakes from War Decree at Newmarket last time. Can he confirm himself a live Classic hope for next season for owners Godolphin, who are desperate to find just that?

He faces up against War Decree once again in a burgeoning battle between Coolmore and Godolphin that could prove to be a storyline stretching far behind Tuesday if the two colts can build on the promise they have shown so far.

Can James McDonald go out with a bang?

James McDonald has made a huge impression during his stint in Britain and will head back to Australia at the end of this week, with the Spring Carnival just a few months away.

The New Zealander has notched 15 winners since arrival in Britain and has proved a more than able deputy for the suspended William Buick.

McDonald has six rides on the opening day the festival, including aboard Dutch Connection in the feature Lennox Stakes.

Going news

The going at Goodwood was on Monday described as good on the straight course and good to firm, good in places on the round course with watering having taken place to maintain conditions.

Clerk of the course Seamus Buckley said: "There hasn't been any measurable rain for 14 days and it has been blisteringly hot, so we've put down sufficient water to keep the moisture in the ground. 

"I'm delighted with condition of the course and we will be starting the meeting on some very nice ground."

 
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