Goodwood ground mainly good after heavy rain on Sunday
After weeks of glorious weather in the build-up to Glorious Goodwood, which starts on Tuesday, the track was drenched by more than 18mm of rain on Sunday.
The going changed to good, good to firm in places on the round course, after clerk of the course Ed Arkell walked the track late on Sunday afternoon.
Arkell, who is being predicted a dry five days during the meeting, said on Sunday: "We walked the course late this afternoon to let all the rain soak through. We’ve had 18.3mm of rain and it’s good, good to firm in places on the round course.
"All being well we’ll start on good, good to firm all round, or good to firm, good in places."
Another 1.1mm of rain fell overnight but the forecast is for a sunny and breezy day on Monday with just the chance of a shower.
Last year's winning team in the Group 1 Qatar Goodwood Cup will be reunited on Tuesday, with Stradivarius set to face six rivals in the opening day highlight of the five-day festival.
Andrea Atzeni, who steered the four-year-old to victory in the race last year is in the right place at the right time again, as he is back aboard for John Gosden with Frankie Dettori suspended.
Circumstances dictated that Atzeni was in the plate when the pair won the race by a length and three-quarters last year, and the jockey is not complaining about being able to step into the breach again.
"It’s exciting to get the call and hopefully I’ll repay the faith," Atzeni said.
"Stradivarius was never my ride last year. I only rode him at Royal Ascot because Frankie was injured and Robert Havlin was banned. Then, at Goodwood, Frankie decided to ride Big Orange [who was seeking a third successive win in the race and finished second]."
Atzeni will be looking to stretch his unbeaten record on the stayer to three, and thinks he deserves to head the market.
"He stays very well but at the same time he’s not short of tactical speed and, for a stayer, he can quicken as well," the jockey told Qipco British Champions Series.
"If he turns up [in his best form], they’ve all got to him to beat. On what he’s done this year he’s the best horse in the race. It’s a Group 1 and they're never easy because you're taking on top quality horses, but it’s only fair he’s the odds-on favourite."
Aidan O'Brien had decided against running Order Of St George in the 2m contest, preferring an Irish St Leger bid with the six-year-old instead. The trainer relies on Idaho as an alternative.
Jessica Harrington adds further Irish intrigue with Torcedor, who finished a length behind Stradivarius in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot when third last time out.
Call To Mind, Dal Harraild, Desert Skyline and St Michel complete the field.
Lennox over Sussex
Trainer Roger Teal had toyed with supplementing stable star Tip Two Win for the Sussex Stakes later in the week, but instead the three-year-old is one of 12 declarations for the Group 2 Qatar Lennox Stakes.
He will face last year's Sussex Stakes winner Here Comes When, who sprung a 20-1 surprise for Andrew Balding in testing ground 12 months ago.
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