The top races at Glorious Goodwood can be exciting prospects even before you know the potential line-ups – but this year’s entries have whetted appetites further.
Bosses believe the quality and quantity of entries for the Group races and big-money handicaps add up to a feast of flat racing that will thrill Goodwood crowds from Tuesday to Saturday.
The £1m Qatar Sussex Stakes is the showpiece of the week, to be run on Wednesday, and the field looks strong.
Racecourse manager Eade ran through the week’s top attractions and said: “We hope Too Darn Hot will run in the Sussex, then you have Phoenix of Spain, Lord Glitters, many others.
Glorious Goodwood - all the big races and the rest of the week
“I think we’ve picked up all the big horses you’d expect. It will be fascinating.
“The Goodwood Cup (on Tuesday) will be amazing with Stradivarius going for the treble, trying for one better than Big Orange managed in winning two years in a row.
“We know Stradivarius likes it here, but I think Dee Ex Bee will be tough opposition, then of course we have Cross Counter, the Melbourne Cup winner who won here over a shorter distance last year.
“For me that looks the race of the week. It’s on our first day and whatever happens it will get the week off to a good start.
“And if Stradivarius is beaten you know it will be by a good horse. If Stradivarius we’ll have to name a cafe or bar after him, as we did with Double Trigger, who won the same race three times in four years.
“The Lennox Stakes (on Tuesday) looks a wide-open race. It’s one that’s been on our thoughts about upgrading to Group 1 and while I don’t think that’s going to happen at the moment, it’s a strong Group 2.
“The Unibet Golden Mile (Friday) will be a really good handicap with a massive field, a really good betting race, and in the Qatar King George (also Friday) it’s a question of whether Battaash can claim a hat-trick. He’s odds-on favourite at the moment.
“We’ve moved the Lillie Langtry to the Saturday, having moved the Gordon Stakes off the Saturday, and it will be a real highlight on the last day. It’s still a fairly young Group 2 and we’re working to get it established. Then for Saturday’s cavalry charge, the Stewards’ Cup, we’ve a really good set of entries and a field of 28 will tear down the six-furlong course.”
Highlights away from the main race programme include the Magnolia Cup charity ladies’ race and the race-week ball - both on Ladies’ Day (Thursday).
There will be free-to-watch cricket in front of Goodwood House after racing on Tuesday, featuring Lord March’s Racing XI and the Lord’s Taverners, including a few well-known cricketing and racing names.
Eade added: “We have a couple of new hospitality areas. In the Charlton Stand we have one called The Long View and in the March Grandstand there is The Kitchen.
“There are some new features for racegoers in the Gordon and Lennox Enclosures. We’ve put a lot of effort into smartening up the food and reorganising the bars to make them more efficient. We’ve put a lot more effort in there.
“ITV will show four live races a day and The Morning Line on the Saturday.”
Goodwood bosses expect top representatives of the Qatari sponsors of the meeting will be there for the week, showing their commitment to the festival.