Amazing day - extraordinary stories: clerk reflects on Goodwood's Ladies' Day

A perfect summer day on the Downs, with warm sunshine and a light breeze, complemented a memorable afternoon of racing at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Thursday, 1st August 2019, 11:09 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd August 2019, 12:09 am
The Ladies' Day crowd at Goodwood was 22,002 / Picture: Getty Images

Goodwood Clerk of the Course Ed Arkell said: "I've been very surprised, but the ground held its moisture really well. It's been a warm day, but the jockeys were all very happy that it was 'good' ground and so I've left that as the description.

"I'm sure we will put 'good to firm' into the going description on Friday morning, but we will see.

"What an amazing day of racing. I was thrilled to see Deirdre win the Qatar Nassau Stakes for Japan - there has been a lot of work to get the mare here, both on Goodwood's part and other racecourses, notably Nick Smith at Ascot. It is brilliant for Goodwood, but great for British racing that a Japanese horse has come over here and won a Group One race.

Ladies' Day is always a colourful, vibrant affair / Picture by Getty Images

"Hopefully it will encourage more runners from that country because this has shown them what can be done. We would love to see more Japanese horses at Goodwood in the future."

Of Khadijah Mellah's victory in the Magnolia Cup - a first win for a Muslim woman on a British racecourse - Arkell said: "It was an extraordinary story - what can you say? It was quite stunning, and what an achievement.

"Goodwood is a very special place, and the racing today has proved that - the cachet and appeal of coming here as a competitor, owner or racegoer is hard to beat."