Farhh (white cap) will be making just the sixth start of his careerPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Godolphin to take on Frankel with Farhh
A COMBINATION of timing and the desire to drop in trip with Farhh has seen Godolphin rise to the challenge of tackling unbeaten wonderhorse Frankel in the Qipco Sussex Stakes.
The lightly raced Farhh hinted he was a Group 1 horse in the making with an easy six-length victory in the Thirsk Hunt Cup off a mark of 100, and two placed efforts over 1m2f, in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes and the Coral-Eclipse, have seen connections keen to return to a mile.
Godolphin's racing manager Simon Crisford said: "Farhh put up a really good performance in the Prince of Wales's at Royal Ascot after missing the break and not having a clear run.
"I think the best horse won the Coral-Eclipse - it would be wrong to say Farhh could have beaten Nathaniel. He used up a lot of energy to get to Nathaniel and probably did not have quite enough petrol in the tank in the last uphill drive.
"It was a big run but he told us that going back to a mile would probably be a good thing. He clearly did not get the trip at Sandown and we want to drop him back in distance."
The timing of the Goodwood contest also better suits Godolphin, despite the likely opposition. "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," continued Crisford.
"I asked Sheikh Mohammed what his preferred option was, the 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'. We are delighted that Farhh is going to be there, provided the ground is not too firm."
Frankel winning the Sussex Stakes last year in emphatic fashionPICTURE: Mark Cranham
It may be the first time the two have raced, but it is not the first time they have met. "He might recognise Frankel - we tried to race against Frankel once before, as a two-year-old in a conditions race at Doncaster.
"Farhh sadly reared up in the gates, hurt himself really quite badly and could not run. I remembered on that occasion, as the gates opened, absolutely spitting blood because he wasn't able to run.
"But, at the end of the race, I was thinking maybe we dodged a bullet there because Frankel was phenomenally brilliant that day, even though it was a three-runner race.
"Farhh's injury kept him off the track for most of his three-year-old campaign and it is only this year that we are beginning to get into some sort of rhythm with him. He is turning out to be a good horse."
Just as much of a worry as the wonderhorse in opposition is the beginning of the race. "The stalls are a worry - he schools through the gates every day and he is actually as good as gold at home.
"But you saw what can happen at Royal Ascot - he does need to go into the stalls last and cannot be hanging around in them. He needs to go in and the gates to open. We will obviously be talking to the starter beforehand.
"It must be remembered that he is still on a learning curve, being very inexperienced. From our point of view, Farhh has not done enough yet to establish himself as a true Group 1 horse, having just won the Thirsk Hunt Cup. He needs to bridge the gap at some stage."
Crisford, who was in a playful mood as he revealed Farhh was Arabic for happy, added: "Maybe we will be able to get a five-length start from Frankel or even a 10-length start! If we could organise this, we would have a great chance!
"Farhh is in great form and doing really well - let's hope he runs up to his best. It will be a fantastic race and I hope it is not just two or three runners."