Glorious Goodwood gets under way on Sporting Greats Day, Tuesday, July 26, with an excellent seven-race card that hails the first of five days of enthralling racing at the world’s most beautiful racecourse.
The feature contest is the £140,000 Group Two bet365 Lennox Stakes (3.10pm) and an entry of 15 for the seven-furlong contest includes the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Delegator.
The five-year-old was a ready winner of the six-furlong Group Two Duke Of York Blue Square Stakes at York in May and took fifth from an unfavourable draw on his latest start in the Group One Darley July Cup at Newmarket on July 9.
Maqaasid showed plenty of speed when successful in the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes over five furlongs at Royal Ascot last year and the John Gosden-trained three-year-old has proven herself as one of the leading fillies over a mile this term, including when coming home third in the Group One QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 1.
She has the option of dropping back in trip for the bet365 Lennox Stakes or taking on the likes of Frankel and Canford Cliffs over a mile in the Group One QIPCO Sussex Stakes - the “Duel on the Downs” - at the same course 24 hours later.
Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, revealed today: “We will sit down and decide whether Maqaasid heads to Goodwood. I wouldn’t have thought that she would take her chance in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes and we will decide about bet365 Lennox Stakes in due course.
“She ran no sort of race on her latest start in the Falmouth Stakes (eighth, Newmarket, July 8), when she didn’t turn up at all. She just had an off day - she didn’t pick up for a stride - and nothing came to light afterwards.
“We have been thinking about dropping her back in distance all year and that was the annoying thing about the Falmouth Stakes - we didn’t learn anything from the race.
“Her form up until then had been very good and it was the first bad race that she had run in all of her career. Hopefully, she can put it behind her on her next start.”
Other contenders for the bet365 Lennox Stakes include Royal Ascot winner Strong Suit and last year’s Group Two Tanqueray Richmond Stakes victor Libranno, who are both trained by Richard Hannon, and Wootton Bassett, who captured the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere for trainer Richard Fahey last season.
Tuesday’s card also includes the Group Three £50,000 bet365 Gordon Stakes (2.35pm) over a mile and a half, which is a key trial for the Group One Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on September 10.
Arctic Cosmos took third at Goodwood last year before going on to glory at Doncaster and five of the 13 entries for the bet365 Gordon Stakes also hold an entry in the final Classic of the season including the Mark Johnston-trained Namibian and Fiorente, whose trainer Sir Michael Stoute sent out Conduit to complete the Goodwood-Doncaster double in 2008.
The £40,000 Group Three bet365 Molecomb Stakes (3.45pm) over five furlongs has attracted an entry of 24 two-year-olds headed by this year’s Queen Mary Stakes heroine Best Terms, representing Hannon, the Keith Dalgleish-trained Stonefield Flyer and recent Weatherbys Super Sprint scorer Charles The Great, who is trained by Andrew Balding.
John Smith’s Cup runner-up Modun, from the Stoute stable, is among 29 entries for the day’s opening contest, the £45,000 bet365.com Handicap (2.00pm), while several stars of the future could be on show in the six-furlong £15,000 Casino At bet365 EBF Assertive Maiden (4.20pm), which has an entry of 26.
The racing action is completed by a pair of competitive handicaps - the mile £15,000 Poker At Bet 365 Handicap (4.50pm, 70 entries), and the £15,000 Mobile At bet365 Handicap (5.25pm, 31 entries) over five furlongs.
Sporting Greats Day is the perfect mix of equine and human sporting talent with appearances from famous sports figures, from the newly rising stars to the legends of the past; as well as performances from some of the finest horses the country has to offer.