Glorious Goodwood contest upgraded to Group 3 status

Adam Waterworth is working on Goodwood's 2012 programme

Adam Waterworth is working on Goodwood's 2012 programme

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Bosses at Goodwood are celebrating after racing chiefs agreed to give one of their listed races Group 3 status.

The Thoroughbred Stakes on the fourth day of Glorious Goodwood gets the new billing because of the standard of previous winners.

But a bid by the racecourse to get the Lennox Stakes upgraded from Group 2 to Group 1 was rejected.

Goodwood MD Adam Waterworth (pictured right) was pleased by the backing for the Thoroughbred Stakes, currently sponsored by RSA, by the BHA and racing officials in Europe.

“For the past three years the race has been won by Group 3-standard horses which is why we felt we had a good case. We’re delighted and so are the sponsors,” Waterworth said.

“It will help us attract an even stronger field to the race this year. It could start to attract some Group 2-level horses and that in turn could lead to it being upgraded further.

“As for the Lennox Stakes, that’s one we may bid again to get upgraded.”

Goodwood are also waiting for the green light to move their five-furlong King George Stakes, a Group 2 race, from Ladies’ Day to the Friday of Glorious - further strengthening a day four they felt needed a boost.

It comes as staff gear up for another hectic season on the Downs, with much of the focus at present on building up the two new three-day festivals in May and August and finalising the line-up of DJs for the run of three June Friday nights. The DJs should be announced by the end of January.