Goodwood prepares to say ‘bye’ to retiring Buckley - preview and tips

Seamus Buckley is checking the going for the final time / Picture by Kate Shemilt

The end of Goodwood’s racing year arrives on Sunday afternoon – as does the end of Seamus Buckley’s half a century working in racing.

Goodwood’s season finale fixture features a new theme of harvest, hops and horse racing.

Buckley has painstakingly cared for the turf and grounds at Goodwood for 23 seasons and has won the respect, admiration and acclaim of the industry for his perfectionist attitude and affable nature.

The racing will be fiercely competitive – this meeting often provides a chance to see some young horses making their first appearances in preparation for next season.

Unique to this fixture is the Alderbrook Stakes, in which some of the country’s leading jump jockeys take on the fast turns and undulations of Goodwood. It’s a great spectacle and can throw up unexpected results.

The Dick Hern Trophy will be presented to the leading trainer at the course this season and no fewer than eight trainers are in with a chance of taking the spoils, with Mark Johnston currently out in front on seven winners.

Our tips for Sunday’s card: 2.00 Fitzwilly, 2.35 Lady Dancealot, 3.10 Royal Household, 3.45 Loxley, 4.20 Jacob Cats, 4.55 Boy In The Bar, 5.25 Dhalam.

The season finale will be the last fixture for Buckley as clerk of the course. Buckley has painstakingly cared for the turf and grounds at Goodwood for 23 seasons and has won the respect, admiration and acclaim of the industry for his perfectionist attitude and affable nature.

The racecourse team, trainers and jockeys will mark the occasion with a presentation to Buckley during the afternoon.

Goodwood are running a series of facts about Buckley on their social media channels. From his career in the saddle, his life-threatening injuries, his love of Wolves FC and his extensive knowledge of the Grand National, to his lifetime achievement award from the RCA, the series is covering many aspects of Buckley’s life, in and out of racing. Use the hashtag #ThankyouSeamus to follow the series.

Watch again... our video interview with Seamus as he prepared for his final Glorious Goodwood

On Sunday, a fiddle-band will play alongside roaring fire pits and hay bales, with a variety of mouth-watering food offerings including toasted marshmallows.

Guests can sample a range of craft beers, including Goodwood’s award-winning real ales and lagers, now brewed in-house by the Home Farm team. Tim Hassell, Home Farm manager, will be hosting tastings and talking guests through the different palates.

Professional brewer Andy Hepworth will provide a talk on the process of creating craft beers inside the Harroways Bar.

Tickets for Sunday start from £26 with free admission to children under 18 in all enclosures. Gates open at 11.30am, with the first race at 2pm and last at 5.25pm.

For tickets, hospitality and further information, please visit www.goodwood.com

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