Goodwood ready to race again after ending summer on a high
And then there were three - just a trio of meetings left at Goodwood for the season.
They go in their two September meetings, which are followed by just the season finale in October, on the back of a very successful Qatar Goodwood Festival and three-day bank holiday fixture - even if the final day of the latter meeting was hit by awful weather.
Tuesday afternoon's card begins at 2pm and runs until 5.20, with a total of 68 runners declared for the seven races.
The highlights are the British EBF Peter Willett Maiden Stakes at 3.05, for which there is a field of ten, and the Royal Sussex Regiment Handicap, at 4.10 and the same number of runners.
At the August bank holiday meeting, the racing was varied, the entertainment was varied ... and the weather? You guessed – it was varied.
The three-day fixture has become a key part of the racecourse’s calendar in recent years and this year’s had something from everyone from racing purists to children. On the track the highlight was on Saturday – in lovely sunshine – and the Group 2 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile. There was an incredibly tight finish as only three lengths separated the entire field of eight.
Andrew Balding’s Beat The Bank landed the prize under Oisin Murphy, for owners King Power Racing. Murphy won the Sussex Stakes less than a month ago. Antonia De Vega was an eye-catching winner of the Group 3 Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes, leading home a high-class field.
The upgraded Group 3 Ladbrokes March Stakes, run in memory of trainer John Dunlop, who died in July, went to Maid Up under a confident ride from Rob Hornby. Dunlop’s son Harry and grandson William presented the trophy.
On Friday evening Sir Victor took the annual Chichester Observer Stakes and Pulborough trainer Amanda Perrett scored with Astromachia. After racing, drummers drew crowds round the stands before a wonderful fireworks display set to music it up the night sky.
Throughout the meeting, racegoers enjoyed family activities, live music, traditional fairground, a magician, donkey rides and Punch and Judy shows.
It’s 11 seasons since footballer-turned-trainer Mick Channon won Goodwood’s Dick Hern Trophy for having the most winners in a year. But the ex-England and Pompey striker still knows how to send a winner to the post on the Downs – as he showed three times on the Sunday of the holiday weekend.
On Sunday’s rain-softened ground, and in poor visibility that left many race-goers guessing at how races were unfolding, Channon runners Two Blondes, Can Can Sixty Two and Fannie By Gaslight all made the best of the difficult conditions.
The Weatherbys Racing Bank Supreme Stakes was won by Anna Nerium, ridden by Tom Marquand for Richard Hannon, another past winner of the top trainer title.
The racecourse now stages racing on Tuesday and again on Wednesday, September 26, before the season comes to a close on Sunday, October 14 with a Harvest, Hops and Horseracing fixture. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit goodwood.com
Tips: 2.00 Esprit De Baileys, 2.35 Bella Vita, 3.05 Line of Duty, 3.40 Carrie's Vision, 4.10 Jacob Cats, 4.45 Incentive, 5.20 Autumn War.