Goodwood’s fifth year of Three Friday Nights got off to a flying start on a pleasant evening on the South Downs as thousands enjoy a heady mixture of racing and music.
A card of six races was followed by a set by acclaimed Belgian duo 2manydjs as Goodwood avoided the stormy weather had had affected much of the UK during the day.
On the track, one of the most popular wins of the night came as Pulborough trainer Luke Dace saw Echo Brava take the Three Friday Nights Stakes at 8/1.
Charles Bishop timed his run perfectly on the five-year-old as Dace watched by the finishing post. The trainer said he could well bring Echo Brava back to Goodwood for the Glorious meeting, the Qatar Goodwood Festival, at the end of the July,
The racing action began with victory for the Ian Williams-trained Commissar in the Levin Down Amateur Riders’ Stakes, the 8/1 shot beating Trader Jack by a neck.
The 8/13 favourite War Whisper - tipped on this website on the morning of racing - did exactly what was expected to win the two-year-olds race, the Ultimate Driving At Goodwood Maiden Stakes under Richard Hughes for Richard Hannon, the jockey-trainer duo who are rarely out ofthe winner’s enclosure here.
Next up was another maiden and another win for the favourite – Strong Challenge (15/8) easing home with James Doyle on board for Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin (as seen in the video above).
There was something of a coup for followers of our tips when Dean Ivory’s Links Drive Lady defied odds of 25/1 to win the EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Fillies’ Stakes, ridden by Dane O’Neill (also seen in the video).
It was an eighth career win for a filly who has had trouble with burst blood vessels more than once, with the 6/4 favourite My Call and earlier winner Doyle well beaten but second.
There was drama before the last, the 2manydjs Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, when Taurian appeared to be spooked in the paddock and bolted across the grass, throwing jockey Timmy Murphy to the ground. The horse was quickly restrained and Murphy dusted himself down before getting back on and making his way to the start.
The race was won by Hughes, completing a double for the night aboard Imvula, trained by Ed Dunlop, who went off as 3/1 favourite.
* Earlier in the day, Goodwood’s Height of Fashion Stakes winner from a fortnight ago, Luca Cumani’s Lady Of Dubai, showed her win on the Downs was no fluke with a fine third place under Adam Kirby in the Oaks at Epsom.
Goodwood officials were also delighted to see their Cocked Hat Stakes winner Storm The Stars finish an excellent third in Saturday’s Epsom Derby.
* There’s more action at Goodwood on Sunday, when the track stages its annual Sunday School fixture, with a range of activities planned which will give race-goers young and old the chance to find out what makes a race meeting tick. These include visits to the weighing room and trips out on to the course with clerk Seamus Buckley, all of which start soon after gates open at 11am. Ticket details on 01243 755055 or at www.goodwood.com.
Derby winner Frankie Dettori is due to ride at the meeting.
See the Chichester Observer next Thursday for reports and pictures from Goodwood and Fontwell - and stick with this website for all the local racing updates
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