Goodwood sings to Dettori’s tune - and Evans’ records

Chris Evans entertains the crowds at Goodwood
Chris Evans entertains the crowds at Goodwood

Frankie Dettori rarely fails to grab at least some of the limelight when he visits Goodwood - but he wasn’t the only jockey to send the crowd crazy on the second of their DJs and racing nights.

Shortly after being honoured by having a race named after him to mark the anniversary of his maiden UK win - at Goodwood in June 1987 - he was able to perform his trademark flying dismount after guiding 5/4 favourite Club Oceanic to victory in the Crimbourne Stud Stakes.

It brought a big cheer of the night from the crowd - but a bigger ovation was to come after the racing when radio legend Chris Evans led a parade ring party-in-the-rain.

Evans followed in Boy George’s footsteps from last week in creating a brilliant atmosphere as he got thousands dancing to some disco and rock classics from his DJ pod overlooking the rain-soaked winner’s enclosure and parade ring.

He kicked off with Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now and the classics just kept on coming - all this after he had flown by helicopter from London, where he had presented The One Show, to take centre stage at Goodwood little more than an hour after coming off TV.

As Evans played the tunes, the rain got harder and the atmosphere got better. He introduced the man who has made these nights possible - Lord March (or Charlie March and his daughters The Marchettes, according to Evans) and praised the crowd for ignoring the rain, which was torrential at times, to enjoy the sort of night you would, until last week, never have thought could be held at Goodwood.

Before Evans took over, the night was all about Dettori.

The weather could have been better for this second Friday night meeting of June on the Downs, with the odd shower and chilly temperatures probably keeping some away, but the action on the track was absorbing.

The first race, the Toyo Tires Maiden Handicap Stakes, went to Stephen Craine on outsider Cunning Act at 14/1 - a first Goodwood success in eight years for trainer Jonathan Portman.

It was a photo finish which relegated Joe Fanning and the favourite Stagecoach Danman to second place afer he had led all the way.

Flat racing favourite Dettori was in the spotlight for the second race, named in honour of the 245th anniversary of the Italian’s first UK race win.

He didn’t have a ride in the race, which went to 8/1 shot Galiando, ridden by Jimmy Fortune, ahead of long-time leader Cala Santanyi and Ryan Moore. Afterwards Dettori did the presentations - and received a prize of his own in honour of his long association with Goodwood as clerk of the course handed him a bottle of champagne.

Next up was the Golf At Goodwood Handicap Stakes, which was won by three lengths by former champion jockey Moore on Truism. Richard Hughes was second with Valencha.

The start of that race was held up by five minutes with Mujood, ridden by Amy Scott, refusing to go in the stalls. The runner was eventually persuade to take his place.

Next came Dettori’s popular win on Club Oceanic, which ended with Dettori taking the warm plaudits of the crowd around the winner’s enclosure and posing for a few photos.

The Hildon Stakes went to Luke Morris on 7/2 joint favourite St Augustine. The last, the Tanqueray Handicap Stakes, was a triumph for Hughes on Volito at 3/1 - no surprise given that a Goodwood meeting these days rarely passes without Hughes recording at least one win.

Then it was just left to the night’s best-known jockey Evans to keep the entertainment going - and he didn’t disappoint with a set crammed with great songs that lasted until 11pm.

STEVE BONE