GLORIOUS GOODWOOD is on course to break the 100,000 barrier again.
Staff at the racecourse are hopeful they will welcome close to 105,000 race-goers through the gates over the five days of next week’s festival.
That’s despite the lack of the ‘Frankel factor’ which added thousands to Wednesday’s gate in each of the past two years as people flocked to see the wonderhorse before he retired at the end of last season.
This year’s sales have been helped by a summer of fine weather and the absence of any major competing sporting events like the London Olympics, which coincided with last year’s festival.
Racecourse MD Adam Waterworth said: “We always look to break the 100,000 mark over the week and we look on course to do that again. If we can get up to around 105,000, we’ll be delighted.
“The Thursday and Saturday will sell out in the Gordon Enclosure this week, I would think, and there’s every chance the Friday will nearer the time.
“There’ll be space in the Lennox but the advice to anyone wanting tickets to the main Gordon Enclosure would be to buy in advance to make sure of their spot.
“Ticket sales have been pleasing and encouraging all the way through. We’ve been consistently ahead of last year.
“We were worried about Wednesday because Frankel is no longer around to swell the numbers, but the fact is we have another excellent Sussex Stakes in prospect on that day - and I’d like to think many of those who came to specifically to see Frankel last year or the year before will keep coming back.”
Although the Sussex Stakes clash between Dawn Approach and Toronado - billed as the new Duel on the Downs - is eagerly anticipated, Waterworth predicted Saturday’s Nassau Stakes - the other Group 1 contest of the festival - could be the race of the week.
“If we’d dared to dream earlier in the season, we’d have wanted to see Sky Lantern, Just The Judge, The Fugue, Secret Gesture and Snow Fairy in the Nassau - in fact that would have been over-hopeful,” said Waterworth.
“Snow Fairy has recently been retired because of injury but all those other fillies are still on course to run, which would be absolutely fantastic.”
Today sees the list of entries revealed for Tuesday’s opening-day card while the rest of the cards will be published day-to-day up until Monday.
Waterworth said: “All we seem to have had from trainers is positive vibes about various horses - including some top-quality ones - who will be coming to race. You can’t ask for any more than that.
“The whole racecourse is looking a picture and we can wait to get started.”
See today’s Chichester Observer for all the previews and don’t miss our exclusive 60-page Glorious magazine - available at the Observer office in Eastgate Square from Friday
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