Under starter’s orders for a new season

The Start at Goodwood Racecourse.
The Start at Goodwood Racecourse.

GOODWOOD racecourse is under starter’s orders for the new season, which begins with a meeting to whet the appetite this Saturday (May 5) with a fixture including the EBF Daisy Warwick Fillies Stakes as well as the EBF Conqueror Stakes.

Set high on the South Downs, Goodwood invites everyone to celebrate the return of racing for a new season at one of the most beautiful racecourses in the country.

The valuable EBF Conqueror Stakes has been won by trainer Mick Ryan twice in the last nine year, and the winner has come from the top three in the betting six times out of the last nine years. Last year, second favourite, Sera, a four-year-old filly trained by Luca Cumani won the race at 10/3, while John Gosden sent out Gertrude Bell to win the EBF Daisy Warwick Fillies Stakes at the meeting.

Quality racing is assured and Goodwood has the advantage against many other flat courses because of its good-draining downland location in respect of recent rain. Clerk of the course Seamus Buckley and his award-winning team have been working hard to make sure underfoot conditions are the best possible.

The 2012 season at Goodwood has a new structure, for following the second single-day fixture on Thursday May 10, four feature meetings have been created in May, June, July and August to give a real focus, in some instances having moved some single days of racing to join other fixtures.

The result is three days of back to back racing later in May, starting on Thursday May 24 , which features four Listed races-the Cocked Hat, Height of Fashion, Festival Stakes and Tapster Stakes. Total prize money over those three days will be £300,000.

June sees the traditional three Friday evening racing fixtures, with plenty of live entertainment into the bargain, on June 8, June 15, and June 22.

Glorious Goodwood’s superb top quality racing starts on Tuesday July 31 and continues until Saturday August 4.

There will also be a new Group race. with the RSA THoroughbred Stakes on Friday August 3 upgraded from Listed to Group 3 status.

This mile race for 3-year-olds has a distinguished history with horses such as Court Masterpiece and Cape Cross collecting the prize on their way to Group 1 success. Last year it was won by Frankie Dettori riding Neebras.

Managing Director Adam Waterworth commented: “We are delighted that the RSA Thoroughbred Stakes is to be upgraded. The quality of the racing is one of our highest priorities throughout the season, but especially during Glorious, and this will further strengthen Friday’s card. In 2011 all our Pattern races performed well, and I would be hopeful that we can step up again in 2012.”

At the end of August, Goodwood Friday August 24 will be an evening meeting, leading into racing on Saturday August 25 and Sunday August 26, with the Group 2 Betfair Celebration Mile on the Saturday with £412,000 in prize money.

The season closes with two days racing on Tuesday September 4 and Wednesday September 26, plus a Sunday meeting on October 14.