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Arguably one of the most picturesque courses in England, Goodwood has been staging some form of Flat racing for more than 200 years though the sport of kings was introduced to the Sussex Downs by the Third Duke Of Richmond as a form of entertainment for officers of the local militia rather than a public spectacle. It was the Earl Of Egremont who first encouraged his soldiers to race their horses at nearby Petworth Park but when there was a falling out, the Duke Of Richmond stepped in and ‘The Harroway’ was born. The Duke’s ancestors still own the Goodwood estate and administer the racecourse, which has blossomed in popularity since the Second World War and has been gradually developed over the last 40 years to become one of the UK’s premier tracks.
The course itself has a unique lay-out. There is a straight 6f but races over further start at various points on a long, right-handed loop and staying events begin on the straight course, heading in the wrong direction, before heading out into the country and joining the loop. The effect of the draw is dependent on ground conditions as soft ground can give an advantage to those drawn high as there is a pronounced gradient in the straight which affects drainage. Normally those on the inside (drawn low) in races up to a mile will be able to avoid racing wide into the straight. Races over 5f suit the speedier types as it is downhill all the way to finishing line from beyond the 4f marker.
The Sussex Stakes and Nassau Stakes are Goodwood’s only Group 1 races but the former has only attracted small fields in recent years. Other notable races include the Celebration Mile, King George Stakes, Gordon Stakes, Molecomb Stakes and Richmond Stakes while the Goodwood Cup is one of the stayer’s triple crown alongside the Ascot Gold Cup and Doncaster Cup. It is also one of the highlights of Glorious Goodwood, a summer festival staged in the last week of July. The Stewards’ Cup is one of the week’s most valuable handicaps and always has a huge field facing the starter but it’s a race in which fancied horses have a remarkable recent record. Seven out of the last 10 winners have started at 10/1 or shorter but this is a race for the experienced handicapper. Four and five-year-olds dominate and no three-year-old has won since 1997.
Mark Johnston’s runners have a terrific record at the Glorious meeting but he often has multiple entries and it is not always the shortest in the betting that comes out on top. Richard Hannon’s two-year-olds and Mahmood Al Zarooni’s three-year-olds are others that come up trumps on a regular basis.
The Goodwood Estate is five miles north of Chichester in West Sussex. There is signposted access from both the A286 and A285. Chichester is the nearest main station and buses operate to the track from outside the station entrance on race days.
Sunday 9th October Results
Wednesday 21st September Results
Tuesday 30th August Results
Sunday 28th August Results