Raiders from Ireland, Germany and France look set to lay a strong challenge in the £100,000 Group Two Artemis Goodwood Cup (3.15pm), the feature race on Thursday - day three of Glorious Goodwood - which has attracted 18 entries.
John Oxx, who trains at the Curragh, Ireland, enjoyed a first Goodwood winner in the two-mile staying highlight last year with Saddler’s Rock and the five-year-old is set to try to emulate recent multiple winners Yeats, Persian Punch, Double Trigger and Further Flight.
Irish champion trainer Aidan O’Brien, who oversaw Yeats’ brilliant career, could be represented by progressive four-year-old Ernest Hemingway, who readily took the Group Three Curragh Cup on his latest appearance at the end of June.
German handler Andreas Wohler may send over Altano, who finished strongly to take fifth in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, while Gloomy Sunday, trained in south-west France by Christophe Ferland, has already made a successful cross-Channel raid this season in Sandown’s Group Three Henry II Stakes in May.
Number Theory was second to Gloomy Sunday at Sandown and the John Holt-trained gelding was ninth in the Gold Cup before coming home third under top-weight in a Listed handicap at York on July 13.
The five-year-old enjoyed a meteoric rise through the handicapping ranks last season, winning the Old Newton Cup at Haydock and taking a close third in the Betfred Ebor at York.
Holt revealed: “Number Theory is an intended runner at Goodwood. He ran a nice race at York and is in good form at the moment. Any rain ahead of next week would help us as I think that he is a better horse on softer ground.
“He was beaten less than nine lengths in the Gold Cup and ran well in the Henry II Stakes. He has been very consistent for us and, if he gets some cut in the ground, I think that he could keep on improving again this season.
“We were thinking about the Irish St Leger for him but we will sidestep that race and he will hopefully head back to the Ebor after Goodwood.”
The 2012 Gold Cup winner Colour Vision may line up for Saeed bin Suroor and the Godolphin handler has also entered Group One winner Cavalryman, Ahzeemah and Lost In The Moment, who was beaten a head in the 2011 Artemis Goodwood Cup.
Brown Panther, runner-up in the 2011 St Leger, is set to represent trainer Tom Dascombe and owner/breeder Michael Owen, while Askar Tau, who chased home Saddler’s Rock in 2012, could return to Goodwood for Marcus Tregoning.
Other notable entries include QIPCO Yorkshire Cup victor Glen’s Diamond, recent Sandown Listed scorer Caucus and leading Melbourne Cup contender Mount Athos, who is set to run in the Group Three Coutts Glorious Stakes on Friday, August 2.
Richard Hannon has won four of the last five renewals of the £75,000 Group Two Audi Richmond Stakes (2.45pm) and Goodwood’s leading trainer is responsible for three of the 14 entries for the six-furlong contest including Thunder Strike and Anticipated.
Figure Of Speech and Jallota, second and third in Newmarket’s Group Two July Stakes, could re-oppose, with recent Newbury Listed winner Miracle Of Medinah and Coventry Stakes runner-up Parbold also featuring among the entries.
Further Pattern race action is provided by the £60,000 Group Three Blackrock Fillies’ Stakes (3.45pm) over a mile and six furlongs for fillies and mares, with last year’s winner Wild Coco and Ribblesdale Stakes third Elik heading the 16 contenders.
The opening Gordon’s Handicap (2.15pm) over just short of 10 furlongs is often won by a future Group performer, with last year’s winner Grandeur subsequently capturing a pair of Grade Two races in the United States. The 28 entries for this year’s contest includes impressive handicap winners Code Of Honor and Ajmany.
Radiator and Tender Emotion, who are both out of Group One-winning mares, could make their debuts in the £20,000 EBF British Stallion Studs New Ham Fillies’ Maiden (4.20pm, 38 entries).
A seven-race card is completed by the £25,000 Tatler Handicap (4.50pm, 32 entries) and the £15,000 QIPCO Future Stars Apprentices’ Handicap (5.25pm, 39 entries).