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GLORIOUS GOODWOOD 2011: Frankel and Canford Cliffs Prepare To Battle In The Sussex Stakes

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The 2011 meeting at Glorious Goodwood will kick on on Tuesday morning in Chichester, West Sussex, England.  Glorious Goodwood is a five-day meeting that will feature two Group 1 races (Sussex Stakes and Nassau Stakes) along with seven other Group 2 and Group 3 events.

The feature race for the entire Goodwood meeting is Wednesday's Group 1 Sussex Stakes at one mile.  Undefeated 2,000 Guineas and St. James's Palace winner Frankel (GB) will race against Canford Cliffs (IRE), a winner of five straight Group 1 races, including the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot over Goldikova (IRE), for the first time in the Sussex. Only two other horses have chosen to challenge the two monsters - Rio De La Plata and Rajsaman (FR). Bookmakers in the U.K. show Frankel as the betting favorite at odds of approximately 5/6.  Canford Cliffs is at approximately 5/4.

Friday's Nassau Stakes, the other Group 1 during the meeting, is a nine furlong race for older fillies and mares.  Former Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf champion Midday (GB) will try to turn the tables on Misty For Me (IRE), an Aidan O'Brien trainee that defeated her in the G1-Pretty Polly at the Curragh last time out.  Snow Fairy (IRE), winner of the G1-Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin and the G1-Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative at Kyoto is also expected to be in the field.

The course at Goodwood is, like almost all other courses in Europe, extremely unique.  As you can see by the diagram below (via the Racing Post), the course has a smorgasbord of starting positions and turns.  Five and six furlong sprints are run on the straight, with the six furlong race featuring a slight uphill start followed by a charge downhill towards the wire.  Race at a mile, such as the feature Sussex Stakes, will start near the highest point of the course and finish near the lowest point, which is just past the finish line.

Goodwood_medium

A comparison of the standard times at Goodwood (as published by the Racing Post) to some of the other notable race courses in the U.K. helps a to somewhat paint a picture of the characteristics of this course.

 

Dist* Goodwood Epsom Newmarket Ascot
5 57.10 54.90 57.60 59.70
6 1:10.10 1:08.00 1:10.00 1:13.40
7 1:24.20 1:20.00 1:23.00 1:26.70
8 1:36.60 1:42.20 1:35.50 1:39.00/1:40.00
9 1:51.50 1:48.10
10 2:04.30 2:06.00 2:01.00 2:06.00
12 2:34.00 2:35.30 2:28.50 2:30.00

*These distances are approximate; at many of these courses they run races at "about" eight furlongs or "about" ten furlongs, which makes direct comparison of the standard times somewhat difficult. But the times still provide some value in terms of overall comparisons of speed.

It's no surprise to see Epsom with the fastest standard time for five furlong races given the incredibly steep downhill run that is involved in races at that distance. That steep decline after horses come around Tattenham Corner also contributes to overly quick times for six and seven furlongs races.

Ascot can run races at a mile over two different locations: a straight mile or a "one-turn" mile.  I'm not entirely sure which of the standard times for Ascot relates to which starting position, but I'm going to guess that the quicker of the two is for races that are run on the straight since there is a fairly long stretch of downhill running in the first part of those events.  One-turn mile races start near the lowest point of the course and finish near the highest point.

Below is the race schedule for the entire Goodwood meeting. All times are listed as British Summer Time. 

The entire Goodwood meeting will be televised on HRTV and TVG, (apparently, TVG will only have coverage of the Sussex Stakes) or you can watch through your ADW provider.

Day Post Race Cond. Dist.
26-Jul 2:00 bet365.com Stakes 4up 10.0
26-Jul 2:35 G3-Gordon Stakes 3yo 12.0
26-Jul 3:10 G2-Lennox Stakes 3up 7.0
26-Jul 3:45 G3-Molecomb Stakes 2yo 5.0
26-Jul 4:20 Maiden Stakes 2yo, c&g 6.0
26-Jul 4:50 Poker at bet364 Stakes 3up 8.0
26-Jul 5:25 Mobile at bet365 Stakes 4up 5.0
27-Jul 2:00 Goodwood Stakes 3up 21.0
27-Jul 2:35 G2-Vintage Stakes 2yo 7.0
27-Jul 3:10 G1-Sussex Stakes 3up 8.0
27-Jul 3:45 UBS Stakes 3yo 12.0
27-Jul 4:20 Maiden Fillies' Stakes 2yo, f 6.0
27-Jul 4:55 Classified Stakes 3up 7.0
27-Jul 5:30 Nayef F&M Stakes 3up, f&m 9.0
28-Jul 2:15 Betfred the Bonus King Stakes 3yo 10.0
28-Jul 2:45 King George Stakes 3up 5.0
28-Jul 3:15 Goodwood Cup 3up 16.0
28-Jul 3:45 The Lillie Langtry Stakes 3up, f&m 14.0
28-Jul 4:20 Maiden Fillies' Stakes 2yo, f 7.0
28-Jul 4:55 Tatler Stakes 3yo 11.0
28-Jul 5:25 Betfred.com Stakes 3yo 7.0
29-Jul 2:00 G3-Glorious Stakes 4up 12.0
29-Jul 2:35 RSA Thoroughbred Stakes 3yo 8.0
29-Jul 3:10 Totesport Mile 3up 8.0
29-Jul 3:45 G2-Richmond Stakes 2yo, c&g 6.0
29-Jul 4:20 Nursery Stakes 2yo 7.0
29-Jul 4:50 G3-Oak Tree Stakes 3up, f&m 7.0
29-Jul 5:25 Turf Club Stakes 3yo 5.0
30-Jul 2:00 Stewards' Stakes 3up 6.0
30-Jul 2:30 Summer Stakes 3up 14.0
30-Jul 3:05 G1-Nassau Stakes 3up, f&m 10.0
30-Jul 3:40 Stewards' Cup 3up 6.0
30-Jul 4:20 Maiden Stakes 2yo 7.0
30-Jul 4:50 Nursery Stakes 2yo 6.0
30-Jul 5:25 Apprentice Stakes 4up 9.0