Goodwood keen to welcome Frankel - but it’s Mike Skinner first

Kieran O'Neill on his way to victory with Starwatch last Friday - who will take glory this week? Picture by Clive Bennett
Kieran O'Neill on his way to victory with Starwatch last Friday - who will take glory this week? Picture by Clive Bennett

BOSSES at Goodwood believe they are still on track to welcome Frankel to town following the wonderhorse’s latest sensational display.

Sir Henry Cecil’s unbeaten star blew some high-class opposition away in Queen Anne Stakes as Royal Ascot got under way on Tuesday.

The world’s highest-rated racehorse cruised effortlessly clear of closest rival Excelebration to land his 11th straight victory.

The Sussex Stakes – Glorious Goodwood’s blue riband race – is now firmly in Frankel’s sights - the race in which Frankel blew the field apart under jockey Tom Queally last year.

But Cecil has insisted the final decision on the next target will be down to Frankel himself - with the Coral Eclipse another possibility for him.

The Newmarket trainer said: “He is a great horse and you’ve seen him for yourself so everybody can form their own opinion.

“He’s in the Eclipse, he’s in the Sussex, he’s in the Juddmonte and the two races at the end of the year. He’ll tell me what to do next, I don’t tell him.”

Goodwood racecourse MD Adam Waterworth was at Ascot to see Frankel’s latest victory stroll and believes a run in the Sussex Stakes - on August 1, the second day of Glorious - remains highly likely for the star.

“I think the key race for him is the Juddmonte at York. It’s a case of what will best get him ready and I believe the Sussex Stakes is plan A.

“Ours could be the only race Frankel runs in twice. He was breath-taking at Royal Ascot - unlike anything anyone there had ever seen or is likely to see again - and it would be fascinating to see how dominant he could be against this year’s best three-year-olds.”

Excitement over Frankel comes as Goodwood gear up for their Three Friday Nights finale tonight (June 22), which features a six-race card followed by a DJ set from Mike Skinner.

Waterworth was delighted to see a full dance floor enjoying Dermot O’Leary’s set last week and belives tomorrow’s event can be every bit as good.

The racing begins at 6.15pm with the Three Friday Nights Apprentice Handicap and ends with the Capital FM Handicap at 9pm. Highlight is the Class 3 Goodwood Farm Shop Handicap at 7.55.

There are nearly 70 entries across six races – more than double last week’s total.

Non-runners: 650 Michael’s Song; 720 Zaahya, Aquilla; 755 Gold mine, Wild Desert; 825 Ziefhd, Zingana, Free Verse; 900 Impel, Speedy Yaki.

Our tips: 6.15 Falcon’s Reign, 6.50 Botanica, 7.20 Santarini, 7.55 Tmaam, 8.25 Abi Scarlet, 9.00 Maria Montez.