Qatar cash sparks new international interest in Goodwood

Kingman after winning the 2014 Sussex Stakes   Picture by Malcolm Wells

Kingman after winning the 2014 Sussex Stakes Picture by Malcolm Wells

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GOODWOOD racecourse’s first Qatar Festival is taking shape.

Bosses are confident they will be able to add a real international flavour to Glorious even in the first year of a ten-year megabucks sponsorship deal with the Qataris.

There is already talk of leading runners from Japan and Hong Kong coming to the famous track for the five-day summer extravaganza.

As reported in the Observer, Qatar is pumping £2m into this year’s festival prize money, taking all the top races to a whole new level, and has committed to increase its investment year on year at least until 2024.

Glorious has always attracted the top UK horses, but the aim is that with the leading races seeing huge increases in prizes, owners and trainers from across the globe will be lured to Goodwood.

Racecourse managing director Adam Waterworth told the Observer: “It’s all really positive on the Qatar front.

“At one stage after announcing the Qatar deal, we were wondering where the champion older milers would come from, but they are coming on to the radar now from Dubai and from Japan and Hong Kong, where there are a couple of highly-rated milers whose connections are talking about coming.

“We have a Japanese delegation coming to have a look at the stables with an eye to bringing over one of their champion horses, and there’s a champion miler from Hong Kong they’re looking at basing at Newmarket for the summer who could come to us.

“The intention has always been to give the festival more of an international flavour and we thought it would take a year or two to do that. But it might happen sooner than we thought.”

STEVE BONE

We have a Japanese delegation coming to have a look at the stables with an eye to bringing over one of their champion horses.

Racecourse MD Adam Waterworth

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