Goodwood set for night of racing and Ronson

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DARLING of the Downs Frankie Dettori did his best to steal the limelight at the second of Goodwood’s series of Friday night racing-and-DJ nights – but Chris Evans was the ultimate hero of a wet but memorable night.

The popular Italian showed off his trademark flying dismount in the winner’s enclosure after guiding Club Oceanic to victory in the Crimbourne Stud Stakes.

That came after he’d been centre of attention in a race he didn’t ride in. The Frankie’s 24th Anniversary Stakes – won by Jimmy Fortune on 8/1 shot Galiando – was named in honour of Dettori’s first UK race win, at Goodwood in June 1987.

But if the racing was all about Frankie, the second stage of a night when 9,000 poured into the racecourse was about radio legend Evans, whose own Dettori-style dash got him there for his set with a helicopter flight from London, where he’d hosted The One Show.

Even Lord March joined Evans behind the decks as the DJ played 90 minutes of rock, party and disco classics that kept the crowd dancing in the rain. The Friday night series ends tomorrow when an even larger crowd is expected for another top-class racecard, topped off by a set from world-renowned DJ Mark Ronson.

The Richmond Enclosure has sold out and tickets for other areas are selling fast.

Bradley Eccleshare, marketing manager of the racecourse, said: “We were blown away by the crowds here on Friday, despite the pouring rain.

“The attendance was up on the previous Friday and we expect it to be even bigger this week.

“Although many racecourses have well-known bands playing after racing, we have broken the trend by introducing international DJs. The evenings have confirmed just how strong the racing and music link can be.”

Grammy award winner Ronson’s DJing talents have made him a favourite among the inner circle of Hollywood’s elite. He also creates his own music and has collaborated with some of the most innovative people in the music industry. Known for his diverse, genre-spanning selection, his songs have appeared on a multitude of commercials, television shows and movies.

On the track, the action begins with the Tanqueray Maiden Auction Fillies’ Stakes at 6.20 and ends with the Goodwood Farm Shop Stakes at 9pm.

Top Goodwood rider Richard Hughes is booked in for at least four rides as he tries to extend his lead in the race to be the venue’s top jockey for 2011.

Tickets start from £19 when booked at www.goodwood.com