Fireworks and Frankie could both boost Goodwood spectacle

Frankie Dettori on his way to a Goodwood victory at Glorious / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Frankie Dettori on his way to a Goodwood victory at Glorious / Picture by Malcolm Wells

Goodwood is preparing for its popular three-day August Bank Holiday Weekend festival.

Running from Friday 24 to Sunday 26, the event celebrates the Great British summer holidays of yesteryear and will feature top-quality horse racing, fireworks and a host of nostalgic activities for the whole family.

Racing aficionados won’t be short of entertainment either, with the Group 2 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile one of four Group races at the meeting and seven sponsored by the leading bookmaker on the Saturday.

History could be created as the ever-popular Frankie Dettori is just one victory away from riding his 200th winner at Goodwood.

Should the inimitable Italian reach the milestone, he would become only the second jockey to have done so since Goodwood first staged racing in 1802.

On the Sunday, Goodwood hosts a round of the Silk Series, a race series specifically for female jockeys, which showcases their talents in the saddle and aims to inspire the next generation of female riders.

With four rounds remaining of the series, which is run in aid of Cancer Research UK, Megan Nicholls leads the standings.

The festival begins on the Friday evening, with six races accompanied by live music from a saxophone quartet, a string quartet and a rock‘n’roll band, as well as activities for children such as a traditional fairground and coconut shy.

As the racing concludes and the sun goes down, fire performers and stilt walkers will make their way around the grandstands as a band of Batala drummers set a hypnotic beat.

Friday night finishes with a dramatic firework display set to music, produced by the Starlight display team.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, donkey rides and traditional attractions such as a helter skelter, carousel and big wheel, will keep the children entertained.

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The Lennox Activity Tent will feature circus tutors teaching tricks and skills, Punch and Judy shows and face painting. The Goodwood Actors Guild will play games of invisible cricket and entertain guests with a pantomime horse.

A replica beachfront on the East Parade Lawn, complete with sun loungers, ice cream, fish and chips and jazz bands, will be the perfect place to relax.

Tickets to the August Bank Holiday Weekend start from just £12 per day, with under-18s going free. All the additional entertainment and activities are free on entry. For information and tickets, please visit goodwood.com