Frankel’s brother Noble Mission, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, is likely to return to Goodwood in the £40,000 Listed Tapster Stakes (4.05pm) over a mile and a half on the third and final day of the May Festival on Saturday.
The four-year-old triumphed over subsequent Ladbrokes St Leger hero Encke in the Group Three Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes over the course and distance at Glorious Goodwood in July last year.
He was a close third on his seasonal return in the Group Three John Porter Stakes at Newbury in April and fourth, beaten only three lengths, in the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on May 4.
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said today: “As far as I know, Noble Mission is likely to run at Goodwood on Saturday.
“He has been in good form and did very well physically from three to four so we had good expectations for him this year.
“The way the race was run at Newmarket didn’t really suit him, but he has got to step up to the mark better than he has so far this season.”
The 11 entries for the Tapster Stakes include Listed scorers Cameron Highlandand Vow as well as classy performer Songcraft from the in-form stable of Saeed bin Suroor.
Stipulate is also likely to carry the famous colours of Khalid Abdullah at Goodwood on Saturday in the opening £40,000 Listed 32Red Festival Stakes (2.05pm, 16 entries) over just short of 10 furlongs.
The four-year-old son of Dansili, also trained by Sir Henry Cecil, has not scored since trouncing his rivals in the Listed Feilden Stakes at Newmarket in April, 2012, but has been running well in defeat and continued in good form when third in a mile Listed contest at Ascot on May 1.
Lord Grimthorpe continued: “Stipulate has been in good form and working well but we would like to see him step up just a little bit and win one of these nice races.
“I don’t think it is a mental thing with him. He is genuine and consistent but frustratingly consistent. On his rating, he should be well up to winning one of these contests.
“If he settles well, I think the step up in trip might be the answer.”
Afsare, runner-up in the Grade One Arlington Million in Chicago in August, heads the 16 entries in the 32Red Festival Stakes and his trainer Luca Cumani could also run exciting French import Mobaco, a Group Three scorer at Marseille Borely on his latest start in October.
The £50,000 32Red Handicap (3.35pm, 24 entries) over seven furlongs is the richest race on the card and will be run for the first time this year. Wentworth, trained by Richard Hannon, is among the 24 entries along with eye-catching Chester runner-up Breton Rock.
Goodwood’s seven-race card on Friday (May 24) features the £40,000 Listed CASCO EBF Cocked Hat Stakes (3.45pm) over a mile and three furlongs and Ed Dunlop’s Contributer will clash with Group Three scorer Fantastic Moon and Disclaimer, also representing the Sir Henry Cecil-Khalid Abdullah partnership, who has won his last three starts.
Lord Grimthorpe added: “Disclaimer has progressed really well from two to three and has gone up through the handicap ranks. He won nicely last time out and deserves a crack at a race like this.
“This is a progressive sort of race and both Contributer and Fantastic Moon have pretty good form so it will be competitive.”
The CASCO EBF Cocked Hat Stakes has been a good pointer to future stars with the last three winners - Michelangelo (2012), Masked Marvel (2011) and Rewilding (2010) - all going on to win or place at Group One level.
The May Festival starts tomorrow, Thursday, May 23, at Goodwood with an excellent six-race card (first race 2.00pm).
The going at Goodwood remains good.
Seamus Buckley, clerk of the course at Goodwood, said on Wednesday: “There was some light drizzle around earlier this morning and the going is still good. The forecast is for some showers tomorrow and on Friday, which will eradicate the necessity for any watering.”
We’ll have daily reports from the festival on this website.