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Goodwood Racecourse

Published on: 20/11/2016

Located five miles north of Chichester in West Sussex, Goodwood Racecourse is one of English horse racing’s most acclaimed tracks. The track has an elaborate layout with a right-handed aspect that forms a triangular loop. It is only used for flat races of which there are 19 throughout its annual racing calendar that runs between April and October. The highlight of the season is the five-day Qatar Goodwood Festival, affectionately known as Glorious Goodwood.

The flat horse racing course was established on the Goodwood Estate by the third Duke of Richmond in 1801. The venue was originally named The Harroway and was primarily used by the Sussex Militia. In 1802, Jockey Club Rules were applied to a three-day meeting and thoroughbred flat racing became a permanent activity at the track.

Throughout its history, Goodwood Racecourse has developed many notable races such as the Goodwood Cup, founded in 1812, and the Molecomb Stakes, first run in 1829. The Steward’s Stakes and Nassau Stakes followed in 1840, then the Sussex Stakes in 1841. The Richmond Stakes were inaugurated in 1877 to celebrate the Duke of Richmond’s achievements in creating the establishment. The Gordon Stakes were introduced in in 1902, and the King George Stakes in 1911.

Horse racing had to be put on hold with the advent of the Second World War. However, after the war, Goodwood Racecourse started to flourish in popularity and by 1953, crowd numbers reached 55,000 during the Glorious Goodwood festival. From this point onwards, the event was regarded as one of Britain’s most important flat racing fixtures.

Goodwood Racecourse has continued to evolve and has undergone numerous alterations over the years. The weighing room and parade ring have both been moved from their original location. In 1979, the Old Stand was replaced by the March Stand. In 1989, the Charlton Stand was completed and in 1990, the Sussex Stand opened. Many races have been added since including the March Stakes, Cocked Hat Stakes, Lennox Stakes, Glorious Stakes, Oak Tree Stakes, Stardom Stakes, Prestige Stakes, Select Stakes and the Celebration Mile.

As well as the high profile Glorious Goodwood Festival, the venue hosts many other popular flat racing events. Of particular interest are the May Festival, June’s Three Friday Nights and Augusts’ Bank Holiday weekend. The first Saturday in May offers two important races - the EBD Conqueror Stakes and the EBF Daisy Warwick Fillies Stakes, while in October, the Season Finale is held. Goodwood Racecourse is unusual as it is actually made up of a number of courses. The Steward’s Cup Course covers a distance of six furlongs. The first furlong is uphill and the remainder is all downhill. The races start at the far end of the course which includes a tight right-handed loop of considerable distance.

Craven Course is one-mile two furlongs long, while Gratwicke Course covers a distance of four-furlongs. Then there is the Bentinck Course which covers one mile and six-furlongs and the Cup Course which begins near to the winning post and covers a distance of two-mile five furlongs.

The venue is equipped with 10 bars and several top-class restaurants including the Richmond Arms and The Goodwood Bar & Grill. Alternatively, afternoon tea is available at the Aero Café and BBQs are organized on Bank Holidays. There are a variety of packages available to suit all pockets.

Published on: 20/11/2016 © Bet Bind