GOODWOOD bosses brushed off scares over two of the big-name horses due to star next week and declared: Bring on Glorious.
News that The Queen’s top horse Estimate had tested positive for morphine after a previous run sparked fears of a Goodwood Cup no-show – but those worries were quickly shot down by her stable.
And talk of leading three-year-old Kingman not being a certain runner for the Sussex Stakes – which has been billed as a showdown between him and last year’s winner Toronado – seems to be just that, with Goodwood officials confident the John Gosden-trained star will still be in next Wednesday’s £300,000 showpiece race.
The double boost comes as booming ticket sales put Glorious on course to have its biggest total crowd for several years.
Estimate looks set to line up for Thursday’s Artemis Goodwood Cup, with the morphine test result down to accidental contamination through a feed and thereefore not something that brings about a ban from the track.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained mare returned a positive test after finishing second in this year’s Ascot Gold Cup, a race she won to huge popular acclaim last year.
It follows news that traces of morphine had been discovered in post-race samples provided by five horses.
Goodwood racecourse MD Adam Waterworth said: “Our understanding is Estimate is still coming for the Goodwood Cup. In a case like this, the stable, the trainer – and the horse – bear no responsibility for what’s happened. It’s accidental.
“The race is shaping up to be a classic renewal. We’re hopeful last year’s winner, Brown Panther, will be here, and then there’s the likes of Whiplash Willie, Cavalryman and Encke who could be involved.”
Waterworth also remains confident Kingman will be confirmed for the QIPCO Sussex Stakes as long as the ground is not too fast.
Groundstaff have been busy watering the track in the recent dry spell to try to ensure the going is as near as possible to ‘good’ for Tuesday’s opening day.
Waterworth said: “Kingman has had a couple of minor injuries and his team obviously want to be careful. But we’re sure he’ll be declared and will then run as long as the ground is suitable. They want to come and want to take on Toronado.
“At the moment we’re good, good to firm in places, and the team are taking it day by day seeing what needs to be done to keep it on track.”
Staff at Goodwood have been delighted at buoyant ticket sales, which suggest the final three days of the festival – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – will all sell out.
“Saturday in the Gordon Enclosure has already sold out and the Lennox Enclosure may sell out before the day,” Waterworth said.
“At the moment there are still Gordon Enclosure tickets available for Thursday and Friday but I’d expect Thursday to sell out before the festival starts and Friday will do so not long after.
“Tuesday and Wednesday will not be quite so busy although Wednesday’s sales are brisk with all the interest in the Sussex Stakes.
“The message is, if you’re planning to come, book and don’t leave it to chance.”
For the best day-to-day coverage of Glorious – including full lists of runners and riders, tips, previews, results, reaction, pictures and video – go to www.chichester.co.uk where you’ll find live daily coverage and your chance to get involved.