Goodwood Racecourse is situated five miles north of Chichester in West Sussex in the south of England. The racecourse traces the southern edge of the South Downs National Park, created in 2011 and offers spectacular views over the countryside towards Midhurst to the north and Chichester to the south. It is widely considered to be the most scenic racecourse in Europe. The history of racing at Goodwood can be traced back to 1802, when Charles Lennox, Third Duke of Richmond, established a racecourse, known as “The Harroway”, on the Goodwood Estate. Apart from a brief hiatus for World War II, Goodwood Racecourse has continued to flourish ever since. Today, the five day festival of racing, known as “Glorious Goodwood”, which takes place in late July and early August, is one of the highlights of the British racing calendar.
For racegoers, Goodwood offers a choice of the Richmond Enclosure, with an admission price of £30 per person and the Gordon Enclosure, with an admission price of £23. Concessions are available for senior citizens and admission is free for accompanied children in both enclosures.
On days when racing is not taking place, Goodwood Racecourse offers a range of flexible indoor and outdoor spaces suitable for corporate events, such as conferences, dinners, meetings and seminars. The Duke of Richmond's Private Box, for example, can accommodate up to 50 people, while the Horsewalk, under the Charlton Stand, can accommodate up to 200 people depending on the type of event. Alternatively, you might like to choose the Charlton Suite or the Sussex Stand, which can be divided into separate areas to your liking and have spacious balconies overlooking the racecourse.
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What's unique about the course at Goodwood?
Essentially, Goodwood can be described as a right-handed, fairly sharp track, although the five-furlong course is one of the fastest in the country. The track consists of a straight six-furlong course, which is joined by a right-handed triangular loop.
In races between 1 mile 4 furlongs and 2 miles 5 furlongs, horses run the wrong way up the straight, away from the winning post, branch off at the lower bend, around the loop and back to the winning post. Races between 7 furlongs and 1 mile 3 furlongs take place in the opposite directions.
The downhill gradients from the turn into the straight make Goodwood better suited to handy, nimble horses than their big, long-striding counterparts. Horses with form on similar courses, such as Beverley, Brighton and Epsom, traditionally do well at Goodwood.
Notable Races and Events
Goodwood Racecourse hosts many prestigious and valuable races during the year, but the two most notable are the two Group 1 races, the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes, both run during the annual “Glorious Goodwood” meeting.
The Sussex Stakes, run over a mile, is the highlight of the meeting and offers the 3-year-olds of the current Classic generation the chance to take on the older horses. The roll of honour for the race includes such notable names as Petite Etoile, Brigadier Gerard, Giant's Causeway and, of course, Frankel, who was the last horse to win the 2,000 Guineas and the Sussex Stakes in the same season in 2011. Just for good measure, Frankel won the Sussex Stakes again in 2012, cruising home by 6 lengths at odds of 1/20 to become the first horse to win the race twice.
The Nassau Stakes, run over 1 mile 2 furlongs, was upgraded to Group 1 status in 1999 and is open to fillies and mares aged three years and upwards. Midday, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, won the race three years running in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and last year's winner, The Fugue, trained by John Gosden, went on to finish second in the Yorkshire Oaks at York and third in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita.
Architecturally, Goodwood Racecourse has undergone some significant changes in the last few decades. In 1979, the old grandstand was demolished and replaced by the March Stand, designed by Sir Philip Dowson and officially opened by HM The Queen. The Charlton Stand was opened in 1989 and the Sussex Stand, which later received a commendation by the Royal Fine Arts Commission, was opened in 1990.
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
Richard Hughes holds a healthy lead at the head of the jockeys' table for the last five seasons with 59 winners from 294 rides, 25 winners ahead of his nearest pursuer, Ryan Moore, who has recorded 34 winners from 196 rides in the same period. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Richard Hughes' boss, Richard Hannon, is far and away the most successful trainer during the last five seasons with 70 winners from 410 runners and Khalid Abdulla is the most successful owner with 30 winners from 89 runners.
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