Although officially known as the Qatar Goodwood Festival, racing fans everywhere know the five day summer meeting as Glorious Goodwood. This is the highlight of mid-summer in the British flat racing season and there are a whole host of cracking races taking place on all five days.
Goodwood is located in West Sussex and is a beautiful course operated by the Duke of Richmond’s estate, nearby Goodwood House being the seat of the Duke.
Since Qatar’s sponsorship of the meeting the prize money on offer has grown astronomically. That means that we frequently see the best of the best at Goodwood and with so many great races each day the Festival is right up there with the biggest and best in terms of betting opportunities.
Day One: Tuesday
|1:10||EBF Fillies' Handicap||Class 3||1m|
|1:45||Unibet You’re On Handicap||Class 2||1m2f|
|2:15||Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes||Group 2||7f|
|2:45||Qatar Lennox Stakes||Group 2||7f|
|3:15||Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes||Group 1||2m|
|3:00||bet365 Superlative Stakes||Group 2||7f|
|3:45||Qatar Handicap||Class 2||5f|
|4:20||British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes||Class 2||7f|
|4:55||EBF Fillies’ Handicap||Class 3||1m4f|
It will take a few days before the weather improves and Goodwood can genuinely be described as glorious but there is no need for the racing to warm up. We will be treated to some excellent contests on the first day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival including Stradivarius’s return to Sussex as he bids for a record fourth win in the Goodwood Cup.
1:10 British European Breeders Fund EBF Fillies' Handicap
Goodwood, Class 3, 1m
The first race of the 2020 Goodwood Festival is a handicap for fillies aged three and older. This is an interesting betting heat and race because many of the leading contenders will surely struggle to outperform their official rating. Punters will therefore be looking for improving, unexposed types with Angel Power fitting that bill nicely. She took another step forward when back on turf last time out and further improvement could prove too much for her competition.
Angel Power to win at 5/2
1:45 Unibet You're On Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 1m2f
We could be in for a treat with the Unibet You’re On Handicap. Several of the horses in the field for this Class 2 handicap have run in equally competitive races already this season and there are several potential angles for punters to take.
Derevo is edging favouritism for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore whilst connections of Cape Cavalli are hopeful he can build on a very good win last time out. However, the competitive nature of this race suggests that the best way to tackle it is by having a couple of each way plays. The first is Alternative Fact who is interesting at 14/1 stepping back up in trip after two very good runs over a mile. The second horse to back each way is Sucellus who is back at the same sort of level that he last run and is overpriced at 25/1.
Alternative Fact each way at 14/1, Sucellus each way at 25/1
2:15 Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes
Goodwood, Group 2, 7f
The Vintage Stakes is a very important race for two year olds having been won by some of the most dominant juveniles around including last year’s winner, Pinatubo. It would be a surprise were any of those in the field for this year’s edition to kick on and dominate like the Godolphin colt did, but there are some smart types in the field.
One of those high potential performers is the bookies’ favourite, Battleground. The Ballydoyle colt didn’t do too much to set pulses racing on his debut in a maiden at Naas but improved significantly from that first run to win the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot next time out. He is a general 20/1 shot for next year’s 2,000 Guineas and this could be the right stage for him to earn a Group level win and start being taken more seriously for major honours. Painless Potter (12/1) and Dark Lion (6/1) are both interesting elsewhere in the betting but we have the right favourite in this one with Battleground available at 5/4.
Battleground to win at 5/4
2:45 Qatar Lennox Stakes
Goodwood, Group 2, 7f
There’s another Group 2 run over 7f at Goodwood, this time for horses aged three years and older. Pierre Lapin is the only three year old in the field though and he looks to have a tough task to become just the second winner in his age bracket in the last 10 years. With 13 runners, some who have progressed through the handicap rankings, this looks to be a competitive affair where an ability to grind out a performance may be preferable to out and out class.
Escobar (33/1) and Bless Him (40/1) are both hardy handicappers who should give punters a good run for their money even only with small stakes but preference goes to Marie’s Diamond at 16/1. Mark Johnston’s four year old has a combination of class and a likeable attitude. He took two very big steps forward in his first two runs this season and can be forgiven for not running his race last time out in the Betfred Summer Mile. An each way bet looks the way to go here.
Marie's Diamond each way at 16/1
3:15 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes
Goodwood, Group 1, 2m
By the time the Goodwood Cup comes around we will already have been treated to runs from some very good, very popular horses but this is the first race in which racing fans get to watch a superstar. Stradivarius has been a wonderful horse for John Gosden and Bjorn Nielsen and the king of the staying division has a great chance to make even more history on Tuesday.
Last year, Stradivarius equalled the record number of Goodwood Cup wins and this time around he is bidding to become the first four time winner of this Group 1 contest. He has already earned a major win with a superb performance to take the Ascot Gold Cup once again and there is no sign of him slowing down just yet. Santiago, who features prominently in the betting for the St Leger, is a danger as is Nayef Road but Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori have been there and done it before. Their extra experience and class should tell with Stradivarius rewarding favourite backers at odds of 8/13.
Stradivarius to win at 8/13
3:45 Qatar Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 5f
Next up we have the sort of race which is readymade for the summer: a handicap sprint. It’s a shame the Qatar Handicap won’t have anything close to the maximum field size of 26 but there is enough quality amongst the 11 set to go to post to suggest that this will be an exciting renewal.
Benny And The Jets is a horse who knows all about this sort of race. Sylvestre Kirk has worked very hard to ensure that the four year old continues to progress and is given a chance to run in some of the big handicaps on the weekend and at major meetings like the Goodwood Festival. As you’d expect from a horse running in sprint handicaps, Benny And The Jets’ results aren’t consistent but his performance levels largely are. Providing he doesn’t get into too much trouble in running, he has the pace to earn at least a place at a tempting price of 16/1.
Benny And The Jets each way at 16/1
4:20 British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes
Goodwood, Class 2, 6f
The penultimate race of the day is a chance for two year olds who have not yet been able to earn a win to show what they are capable of on the big Goodwood stage. There are a couple of very interesting horses in the race, most notably Majd Al Arab and Alkumait.
Majd Al Arab has arguably shown the most of this lot in terms of raw pace but he has looked green in his two starts to date and has been cost at least one win by a tendency to edge right. Alkumait also showed signs of greenness on debut where he undid a good start by appearing to lose concentration. When he was switched back on by Martin Dwyer he soon got on with the task at hand. The quality of his finish at Newbury was that of a horse with real potential and it would be no surprise to see Alkumait win this race and go on to contest at Group level.
Alkumait to win at 6/4
4:55 British European Breeders Fund EBF Fillies' Handicap
Goodwood, Class 3, 1m4f
The first day of the Goodwood Festival ends with a Class 3 handicap for fillies and mares rated between 76 and 95. It is not the most exciting race of the day on paper but again there is enough competition between those in the field to make this a race worth tuning in to.
Punters also have numerous options to choose from. The best of these could be Time Voyage who interests being stepped up to 1m4f. After a couple of good runs including a win over a mile she was stepped up to 1m2f for her last two runs where she held her own and John Quinn clearly believes she has more to give over a mile and a half. Although she’s crept up the weights she is still well -treated relative to her competitors at Goodwood and has a solid claim for this race.
Time Voyage each way at 11/1
Day Two: Wednesday
|1:10||British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies' Handicap Cl2||Class 2||1m2f|
|1:45||Unibet You’re On Goodwood Handicap||Class 2||2m4½f|
|2:15||Unibet 3 Boosts A Day Handicap||Class 2||1m4f|
|2:45||Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes||Group 3||5f|
|3:15||Qatar Sussex Stakes||Group 1||1m|
|3:45||Alice Keppel EBF Fillies' Conditions Stakes||Class 2||5f|
|4:20||Theo Fennell Handicap||Class 3||7f|
The Sussex Stakes is the big feature race of the day on Wednesday, day two, at the Goodwood Festival. The Group 1 contest involves a particularly strong field this year and could be the most engrossing contest of the entire meeting. Away from the top level and we have some nice races for two-year-olds on Wednesday’s card, as well as competitive handicaps which provide very good chances for punters to beat the bookies.
1:10 British European Breeders Fund EBF Fillies' Handicap
Goodwood, Class 3, 1m
Day two of the Goodwood Festival kicks off with a competitive looking handicap for fillies with a maximum rating of 105. The trick to this race is finding a horse who still has more to give relative to their official mark from the handicapper, rather than going for out and out class. Therefore, even if you can figure out how to pronounce it, you can probably rule out Nkosikazi, who returns to handicaps after winning a first Group 3 last time out at Newcastle. Connections were delighted with that win but she has the burden of top weight to carry and it was far from the strongest Group 3 you’ll ever see so she does have it all to do on Wednesday.
One who looks better treated by the handicapper is Be More who is open to further improvement now that she’s been stepped up to 1m2f. This nicely bred four-year-old had previously looked close to fully exposed when running over a mile but victory in a decent handicap at Sandown last time has increased connections’ hopes about more success this season.
Be More to win at 5/1
1:45 Unibet You're On Goodwood Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 2m4½f
This season will be best remembered for the long suspension to racing and the way that the sport recovered from the effects of a pandemic. Away from the main story though and there are other trends to take from 2020, one of which is the success that National Hunt trainers have had on the flat.
Alan King is a handler best known for the success he’s had on the jumps, training winners of the Champion Chase and Champion Hurdle amongst other huge races. He is now billed as a dual purpose trainer though, who has a number of horses capable of performing to a very high standard over jumps and on the Flat as well. Coeur De Lion is one such horse. This versatile animal has run very well over hurdles and on the flat in the last couple of years. He’s in very good shape having won the Ascot Stakes last time out and can outlast the field to win the Unibet You’re On Goodwood Handicap at very nice looking odds of 6/1.
Coeur De Lion to win at 6/1
2:15 Unibet 3 Boosts A Day Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 1m4f
Frankie Dettori is enjoying yet another successful season. The popular Italian is now a free agent which has seen him race in a variety of different silks, including for former employers Godolphin. Dettori will don the famous blue once again on Wednesday when he rides Encipher, the favourite for this 1m4f handicap for three-year-olds.
Encipher is a well bred colt who did some good work in just two starts as a two-year-old then got involved in a battle which he narrowly lost on his first run of the season. His next start was more disappointing as he was never a factor in the Dante Stakes. It could be that the Dante just came too soon for him and that working his way through the handicap rankings is a good route back to Pattern company. He is certainly interesting on his handicap debut at 6/1.
Encipher to win at 6/1
2:45 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes
Goodwood, Group 3, 5f
Juveniles take centre stage in the Molecomb Stakes, a race which has been won by some very promising horses who went on to star in the sprinting division. That is a division which is very open currently so connections of most of the 10 horses in the field will be hopeful that they can kick on to win multiple Group level races in the coming years.
Mark Johnston is a good judge of quality and he was talking up Army Of India as one to watch even before the Flat season belatedly got underway. The early promise he showed at home was quickly evident on the track when Army Of India won on his debut. He was subsequently outclassed in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot but returned to winning ways when dropping back in class at Lingfield last time out, a win that could prove to be a launchpad for Group 3 success.
Army Of India each way at 7/1
3:15 Qatar Sussex Stakes
Goodwood, Group 1, 1m
The Sussex Stakes is usually one of the best races of the Goodwood Festival but the quality of this year’s renewal is such that it could be one of the best races of the entire season. There are a number of genuine stars included in the seven runners in the field. Among them are the winners of the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas in Siskin and Kameko, Mohaather, who gave arguably the best performance of his career when winning the Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot, and horses who can easily kick on to win at the top level including Wichita, Vatican City and Circus Maximus.
It is far from surprising that Siskin is the bookies’ favourite for the Sussex Stakes as he could be a superstar but you’d have to think that 9/4 is too short given the calibre of the opposition. In contrast, the 9/2 available about Kameko’s chances of winning is a very tempting price. He did nothing wrong at the Derby, indeed he emerged with his reputation enhanced given that the 1m4f trip was never going to suit. The return to a mile will bring the best out of him and we have already seen how good his best is.
Circus Maximus is another horse to consider backing at decent looking odds of 15/2. Ryan Moore gets the ride for Aidan O’Brien’s charge so you can be sure he will be well placed come the closing stages. That is where he really comes alive as the four-year-old loves a battle. There is every chance he could just wear down this high class field.
Kameko to win at 9/2, Circus Maximus each way at 15/2
3:45 British Stallion Studs Alice Keppel EBF Fillies' Conditions Stakes
Goodwood, Class 2, 5f
After the feature race of the day there is another chance for potential stars of the future to take another positive step forward. In truth, it is unlikely that any of the six fillies in the field for this 5f contest will be winning Group level races any time soon but there are some potentially smart two-year-olds for racing fans to run the rule over.
The top two in the betting in particular could take their chance at a higher level than this over the coming months. Miss Jingles (10/3) has lots of potential for Godolphin as she showed when defying a bad draw to win at Sandown last time out. She gets the nod over Spright who could well prove to be the better of the two but who looks best suited to 6f rather than the minimum distance.
Miss Jingles to win at 10/3
4:20 Theo Fennell Handicap
Goodwood, Class 3, 7f
The Theo Fennell Handicap is the final race of the day on Wednesday but looks a really tough puzzle to crack. The 20-runner field includes a combination of three-year-olds who are still improving and potentially unexposed and older horses who will know their job over the 7f trip.
Mottrib belongs to the former group as a younger horse who can step it up from his first outing of the season in a Class 5 handicap at Chepstow. He relished the step up to 6f that day and Roger Varian’s decision to step him up again in terms of class and trip is very interesting. Mottrib just got into this at the bottom of the weights and looks a very good bet indeed at a best available price of 8/1.
Mottrib each way at 8/1
Ladies’ Day: Thursday
|1:10||Mirabeau En Provence Handicap||Class 3||5f|
|1:45||Unibet You’re On Handicap||Class 2||1m2f|
|2:15||Qatar Richmond Stakes||Group 2||6f|
|2:45||John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes||Group 3||1m4f|
|3:15||Qatar Nassau Stakes||Group 1||1m2f|
|3:45||Gusbourne Nursery Handicap||Class 2||7f|
|4:20||British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes||Class 2||7f|
|4:55||Tatler Nursery Handicap||Class 2||5f|
The third day of the Goodwood Festival includes a large number of races for two-year-olds. Savvy punters and racing fans will be updating their notebooks with the best juvenile performers on the day whilst there are some genuine stars of the here and now competing in the Group level races which are headlined by the Nassau Stakes. The weather is looking excellent, the racing is even better and here are our thoughts on each of the day’s races.
1:10 Mirabeau En Provence Handicap
Goodwood, Class 3, 5f
We kick the third day of the Glorious Goodwood Festival off with a minimum distance handicap for three-year-olds. There is only a fairly modest prize fund on offer so only six horses have been declared for the Mirabeau En Provence Handicap but that’s enough for a very good bet in the shape of Caspian Queen at what we think are nice odds of 7/2.
Richard Hughes’ filly has been given a much needed month off from racing after looking leggy at Newmarket last time out at the end of June. If that rest brings out the best in her we could see her go one better than her last run at Goodwood when she overcame some trouble early on to come all the way through and force a photo.
Caspian Queen to win at 7/2
1:45 Unibet You're On Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 1m2f
The top two in the Unibet You’re On Handicap are worthy of real respect. Al Salt had the form of his second race franked when the horse he beat, Tilsit, went on to dominate a Class 5 handicap next time out. William Haggas’ charge then went on to win as a firm favourite at Wolverhampton and should be better stepped up in trip. Zabeel Champion is a beautifully bred horse who has scope for improvement, is tough to get ahead of and could be even better over 1m4f.
The top two may well battle it out for the win in this race but there is always the option of allowing that to unfold and backing another horse each way. Luigi Vampa is very interesting in that regard at chunky odds of 14/1. His last outing ended in ignominy as he unseated his rider but connections are hopeful that his recent gelding operation will calm him down and help bring out his undoubted natural ability.
Luigi Vampa each way at 14/1
2:15 Qatar Richmond Stakes
Goodwood, Group 2, 6f
Two-year-old racehorses are much more finely tuned than some given them credit for. Things can quite easily go wrong with these younger horses which does often present opportunities for punters. Take Qaader for example. Mark Johnston’s colt went into the Tattersalls July Stakes as the bookies’ favourite but fourth was the best he could do on the day. That was clearly a disappointing result but it is by no means time to right him off and we can certainly forgive the odd bad run at this stage.
On breeding alone, you would think that Qaader would enjoy some cut in the ground. However, it is clear from his action that he is a real top of the ground horse and that his best days will come with a solid footing underground. He’ll get the conditions he wants on Thursday, with things drying out as the mercury soars, and may well enjoy the nature of Goodwood so can bounce back to form with a win in the Richmond Stakes at 3/1.
Qaader to win at 3/1
2:45 John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes
Goodwood, Group 3, 1m4f
The quality of this field is clear, with four of the 16 horses who competed in the Epsom Derby at the start of the month set to do battle once again over 1m4f when they drop back in class to contest the Gordon Stakes. This should be a cracker.
Of those who come straight from Epsom, Khalifa Sat did best earning second place in the Derby but it’s English King who is being favoured by punters at a general price of 6/4 ahead of Mogul and Highland Chief. All have decent claims though, so this is far from easy to call.
The strange nature of this season and the real chance that each of the Derby runners still has their best days ahead of them makes this an intriguing race but also one that is difficult to predict. It may even be that a horse who didn’t run in the Derby gets the job done, with Al Aasy particularly appealing at a best price of 9/2.
William Haggas’s colt has already shown bags of stamina and the class with which he put the competition to bed last time out in the Bahrain Trophy Stakes at Newmarket saw him cut to a general 8/1 for the St Leger. He could be even better on the good ground at Goodwood and has the class and pace for 1m4f so looks the best bet in the Gordon Stakes.
Al Aasy to win at 9/2
3:15 Qatar Nassau Stakes
Goodwood, Group 1, 1m2f
The Nassau Stakes is the feature race of the day and has been won by some true greats over the years, including Ouija Board, Midday and more recently Winter. The field for the 2020 renewal certainly suggests that we are in for a cracker and this race is up to the task of providing a top class contest for racing fans to savour.
There are potential winners everywhere you look in the field with the betting topped by Fancy Blue who secured a first Group 1 for trainer Donnacha O’Brien at Chantilly last time out. Nazeef and last year’s winner Deirdre come next in the betting but it’s fourth favourite, Magic Wand who makes the most appeal at the odds.
This experienced five-year-old has already secured a win this season and ran with credit when behind Ghaiyyath, Enable and Japan in the Coral-Eclipse. She beat Deirdre that day and should do so again here. If the race develops into a tactical battle (as is likely to be the case given the calibre of the trainers represented) then Magic Wand could well go all the way and win. Aidan O’Brien is the master of tactical plans and his filly can get the job done at 11/2.
Magic Wand to win at 11/2
3:45 Gusbourne Nursery Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 7f
The Gusbourne Nursery Handicap follows the feature race of the day and is another which includes several potential winners. This does look to be a tricky puzzle for punters to solve but there is a standout bet in the shape of Samara Bay at 10/1.
Richard Fahey’s filly has taken serious steps forward since going up to 7f and has experience of handicaps having won a similar contest at Catterick last time out. That extra experience compared to many of her rivals, her liking for this trip and a decent mark could combine to see her win at a generous price. It is big enough to take each way but we actually think she is well worth backing on the nose too.
Samara Bay each way at 10/1
4:20 British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes
Goodwood, Class 2, 7f
There is yet another race for two-year-olds to enjoy next up in the British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes. Again, the fact that most of these have plenty of room for improvement makes this tough to call but the chances of Teodolina do look strong.
She ran well enough on debut but got into some trouble not of her making. Ryan Moore was happy enough with her and he’ll be feeling good about his chances of steering her towards a maiden win in this one. It will be worth watching this for any market moves but right now she’s certainly the one for us.
Teodolina to win at 6/4
4:55 Tatler Nursery Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 5f
The focus remains on juveniles for the final race of the day with the Tatler Nursery Handicap pitting nine two-year-olds against each other. Some smart horses have made their way through this race over the years and the market is sweet about the chances of Winter Power who is an odds-on shot across the board with the bookies.
She is a high potential filly but looks too short at the prices so preference goes to Different Face at much bigger odds of 15/2. She showed glimpses of real class when controlling a 5f contest on the all-weather at Lingfield and has every chance of taking that form to the turf at Goodwood to win again.
Different Face each way at 15/2
Day Four: Friday
|1:10||TDN Australia Handicap||Class 3||1m3f|
|1:45||Saint Clair Oak Tree Stakes||Group 3||7f|
|2:15||Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes||Group 3||1m|
|2:45||Unibet Golden Mile Handicap||Class 2||1m|
|3:15||King George Qatar Stakes||Group 2||5f|
|3:45||L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Glorious Stakes||Group 3||1m4f|
|4:20||New Unibet Instant Roulette Nursery Handicap||Class 2||6f|
|4:55||British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes||Class 4||6f|
Friday is the first day at the Goodwood Festival without a Group 1 race but it is by no means lacking in quality. Indeed, there are more Group level races than any other day of the meeting and the always popular Golden Mile Handicap is certainly a worthy highlight. Friday will also be the hottest of the five days in terms of the weather, lots of sun meaning that Glorious Goodwood will live up to the billing.
1:10 TDN Australia Handicap
Goodwood, Class 3, 5f
Al Qaqaa (2/1) and Mafia Power (7/2) dominate the betting in the opener but we could be in for something of a surprise win right from the off with Berkshire Savvy appealing at much longer odds of 8/1.
Trained by Andrew Balding, he was given a run out at Royal Ascot and did much better than his odds of 100/1 for the King George V Stakes suggested. He then built on that performance with a win in a Class 4 handicap at Windsor, which suggests to us that there is more to come and that he can take his chance in a race like the TDN Australia Handicap.
Berkshire Savvy each way at 8/1
1:45 Saint Clair Oak Tree Stakes
Goodwood, Group 3, 7f
One Master is a fairly clear bookies’ favourite for the Saint Clair Oak Tree Stakes at a general price of 2/1. Just like her siblings, this six-year-old is a good performer over anything from 6f to 1m so William Haggas will hope that the 7f of this Group 3 brings the best out of her after a decent runs in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 6f and the Falmouth Stakes over the longer distance of 1m.
The problem that she will face, however, is the weather. She loves a bit of cut in the ground which she won’t get on the hottest day of the Goodwood Festival. Thursday was warm and dry and given it will be 26c before noon on Friday, we expect things to firm up considerably.
To our eyes this really opens the door up to Breathtaking Look, who also ran in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. She was never in contention that day but bounced back to form with a strong run in the Summer Fillies’ Stakes at York. She set the pace that day and was just collared late on by a horse running on the opposite side of the track. The return to 7f gives Breathtaking Look the chance to really utilise her stamina and the generally available odds of 6/1 looks too big to ignore.
Breathtaking Look each way at 6/1
2:15 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes
Goodwood, Group 3, 1m
We have an odds-on favourite for the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes in the shape of Khaloosy for Roger Varian and Hamdan Al Maktoum. Like his main opponents for this 1m contest, Khaloosy is an inexperienced three-year-old but he has already shown enough in the early stages of his career to mark him out as a potential Group winner. Most specifically, his win off a mark of 94 on handicap debut at Royal Ascot was very impressive.
There is a slight concern about the greenness that Khaloosy has shown and the firmer ground. Therefore, it may well be worth having a saver on Tilsit at odds of 9/2.
He is another who has shown his inexperience before but the way he put an admittedly weak field to the sword when winning by 19 lengths on his second start showed he has a serious engine. The form from his first race has also worked out well so Tilsit could well serve it up to the favourite if you want an option at longer odds.
Tilsit to win at 9/2
2:45 Unibet Golden Mile Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 1m
The Unibet Golden Mile is one of the most valuable races at the Goodwood Festival and has attracted a field of 15 even with the reduced prize money on offer this year. Those 15 provide a competitive looking betting market for a race which has a habit of producing surprise winners.
Those going in search of a bigger priced horse to support for this year’s renewal should consider taking the 14/1 available about Bless Him’s chances. David Simcock’s six-year-old enjoyed a very strong end to last season and has emerged from runs in two strong races with some credit. His last win came on firm ground so he’ll enjoy the going at Goodwood and Bless Him can reward connections’ decision to keep him in training for this season with a big win.
Bless Him's each way at 14/1
3:15 King George Qatar Stakes
Goodwood, Group 2, 5f
It is probably fair to say that the sprinting division of Flat racing is not as strong as it has ever been currently. There is a lack of competition at the top level which is good news for fans of the popular Battaash who is the best sprinter in training currently. Having finished behind Blue Point on his trip to Royal Ascot, Battaash finally got a win in the King’s Stand Stakes last month and he is the firm favourite for more Group 1 success on Friday.
Battaash has always been very well suited to Goodwood and with three wins he’s the most successful horse in the history of the King George Stakes. Surprises are possible in this sort of 5f dash but few people believe that Battaash will be stopped and he is very much the worthy favourite at 4/11. That’s a short price but we think it still offers some value and is a good addition to your accas for the day.
Battaash to win at 4/11
3:45 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Glorious Stakes
Goodwood, Group 3, 11m4f
Patience is very much a virtue in horse racing. Trainers and their staff can do all the work possible with well bred and highly tuned thoroughbreds but there is no accounting for what happens during a race. Connections of Communique have had to be more patient than most lately as their five-year-old has put in a couple of very good runs without getting the reward of a win.
That should change on Friday in the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Glorious Stakes. Having just found one too good for him at Newmarket and then York, Communique is the favourite for this contest and should get the job done against opponents who have not really convinced this season. The drop back in trip to 1m4f is interesting given that he looked strong over 1m6f last time out but many believe that 1½ miles is his optimum distance and so his price of 2/1 does seem fair.
Communique to win at 2/1
4:20 New Unibet Instant Roulette Nursery Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 6f
There were scenes of joy mixed in with relief on Wednesday as Marcus Tregoning celebrated finally training another Group 1 winner thanks to Mohaather’s win (in very commanding style) in the Sussex Stakes. Tregoning will hope that is not his only success at Goodwood and should be confident about the chances of Perotto in this nursery handicap.
Perotto ran well enough on debut, finishing third behind the quality Qaader and then showed that he learned from that run to win a three-runner race at Goodwood. He will need another step forward on his return to this track but is good enough to take it.
Perotto to win at 9/2
4:55 British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes
Goodwood, Class 4, 6f
Many of the fillies in the field for Friday’s final race of the day are making either their first or second racecourse appearance. It is a very different story for Sarsparillia who is looking for her first win in her fifth run. The team at Godolphin would usually be worried about her lack of a victory but Sarsparilla did look much better last time out for the first time application of cheekpieces, so this could well be her time to shine.
Sarsparilla to win at 5/2
Day Five: Saturday
|1:50||Unibet Stewards’ Sprint Handicap||Class 2||6f|
|2:25||Unibet Summer Handicap||Class 2||1m6f|
|3:00||Qatar Lillie Langtry Stkaes||Group 2||1m6f|
|3:35||Unibet Stewards’ Cup||Class 2||6f|
|4:10||Qatar Handicap||Class 2||7f|
|4:40||British EBF Maiden Stakes||Class 2||7f|
|5:10||LG Signature Apprentice Handicap||Class 3||1m1f|
Saturday’s card at the Goodwood Festival is a bit of a strange send off with some of the bigger races reserved, traditionally, for the more serious punters who would attend midweek. There is just one Group level race with the bulk of the card devoted to handicaps. Those handicaps are of very high quality and competitiveness though, especially the feature race of the day, the Stewards’ Cup. They also provide some excellent opportunities for punters to win big, so let’s get stuck into the action and see where the best value lies.
1:50 Unibet Steward’s Sprint Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 6f
There is no need for things to warm up at Goodwood on Saturday with the Unibet Stewards’ Sprint Cup set to provide an entertaining start to the day’s racing. This is a consolation race for horses who were unable to get a place in the Stewards’ Cup, which takes place later in the day but it’s more than just a second class field and there is some real value about in the betting.
Like the Stewards’ Cup itself, having a couple on board each way looks the best way to tackle this 6f sprint. First, back Highly Sprung at huge odds of 25/1. After a very good first run of the season, the experienced gelding had a tough time of it last time out but he enjoys this sort of race and is well worth each way support. The second option comes from slightly higher up the betting with Saluti making appeal at 11/1 given his strong incoming form.
Highly Sprung each way at 25/1, Saluti each way at 11/1
2:25 Unibet Summer Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 1m6f
We have another handicap next up but the Unibet Summer Handicap is a very different race to that which preceded it. 10 horses will do battle over 1m6f and punters may find that instead of looking for an outsider to chance a small stakes bet on, backing the favourite is the way to go in this one.
Laafy is that favourite and he does look to be fairly priced at solid looking odds of 5/2. After failing to get 2m at the end of last season connections decided to geld him. That decision paid instant dividends when he won a strong 1m4f handicap at the start of the new season and he ran well again next time out when just failing to justify his favouritism in another very strong race. The step up to 1m6f should suit very nicely so Laafy will be difficult to pass and is the one to be on here.
Laafy to win at 5/2
3:00 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes
Goodwood, Group 2, 1m6f
We think the jolly may well be the way to go in the next too and Enbihaar is the obvious option for the Lillie Langtry Stakes. John Gosden’s five-year-old won this race last year and should renew her love affair with Goodwood in this Group 2. Some will be wary about backing the favourite at 11/10 given that she was not at her best last time out in the Princess Of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket but the soft ground and the slightly sharper trip worked against her that day. Enbihaar is more than deserving of another chance on the firmer Goodwood ground as she returns to 1m6f.
The favourite will only have to beat three other horses in this disappointingly small field but if there is one who could make things tough it’s Cabaletta for Roger Varian. She found the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks too much for her early in July but was much better when landing the Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes just a couple of weeks later at Newbury. The improvement in her performance coincided with a return to racing on good ground and her breeding and previous runs suggest that the step up to 1m6f could bring the best out of her. If you don’t fancy the favourite she’s the one to be on whilst you could also opt for a saver on Cabaletta at 13/2 as well as the jolly.
Enbihaar to win at 11/10
3:35 Unibet Stewards’ Cup
Goodwood, Class 2, 6f
The Stewards’ Cup is one of those big field, high prize fund, sprint handicaps that racing fans love to get their teeth stuck into over the summer. This is a race that never fails to provide plenty of drama and has been won by horses going off at some tasty prices over the years.
Backing just one horse on the nose is a brave call and the best way to approach this from a betting perspective may well once again be to have a couple onside. The first horse to consider for an each way bet is the progressive Lexington Dash at 14/1. Richard Hannon’s colt made a big step forward last time out in a similar race at the July Festival, looks well treated by the handicapper and is ready to land a very big prize at a tempting price.
The second horse to consider adding to your team for the Stewards’ Cup is Hey Jonesy, who is also available at odds of 14/1. Kevin Ryan is confident about the chances of his charge picking up where he left off and building on his win in the Wokingham Handicap. He’s obviously gone up the weights for that win but the five-year-old will stick to his task and could quite easily plug on for a place.
Lexington Dash each way at 14/1, Hey Jonesy each way at 14/1
4:10 Qatar Handicap
Goodwood, Class 2, 7f
By this stage of the day some of the lucky fans who have been allowed to attend Glorious Goodwood on Saturday may be getting a little confused by all the handicaps on the card. There is another following the Stewards’ Cup in the shape of the Qatar Handicap. This 7f contest looks a strong and competitive heat on paper with decent cases to be made about almost all of the nine in the field.
Society Lion (5/2) and Mister Snowdon (4/1) top the betting and will likely be involved in affairs come the closing stages but it’s third favourite, Cold Front, who is the most appealing at the slightly bigger price of 9/2. He has been well respected by the market in all four of his runs so far and appears to be well treated by the handicapper even if he has found winning difficult on occasions. The suspicion is that he’ll be better than this calibre of race in the future so 9/2 really is a good price.
Cold Front to win at 9/2
4:40 British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Stakes
Goodwood, Class 2, 7f
Picking out the potentially smart juveniles from the field in this maiden is no easy task and it may be that extra experience tells ahead of out and out quality. Could that open the door for Forever Forward to win? Clive Cox’s colt put up a good fight against a very heavy favourite on his debut performance. If he learned as much from that run as he is entitled to, he could well get off the mark at the second time of asking. That said, this certainly looks a race where any market moves late in the day could be worth heeding.
Forever Forward to win at 4/1
5:10 LG Signature Apprentice Handicap
Goodwood, Class 3, 1m1f
Glorious Goodwood 2020 draws to a conclusion with yet another handicap. The LG Signature Apprentice Handicap is a Class 3 contest held over just over a mile and could well go the way of Streak Lightning. After justifying heavy market support by taking wins in his first two runs, Mark Johnston’s three-year-old suffered the first disappointment of his young career last time out.
He was given a tough task on his handicap debut though and didn’t seem to enjoy the soft ground he encountered at Haydock so is expected to return to form with this drop in class and back on solid ground. He’s the one for us as we look to end this Glorious five-day feast with one more Goodwood winner!
Streak Lightening to win at 5/1
About the Meeting
Summer and flat racing go hand in hand. For many racing fans there is nothing quite like enjoying the sun whilst taking in a selection of top class racing and hopefully winning a few bets. When it comes to summer time there is nothing quite like Glorious Goodwood.
Set in West Sussex, just north of Chichester, Goodwood Racecourse is a stunning place at all times of the year but never is it more resplendent than late July/early August when Glorious Goodwood (officially the Qatar Goodwood Festival) takes place. As well as everything that goes along with it, the five day meeting includes a host of top class horse races including prestigious Group level races and some ultra-competitive handicaps.
The three biggest races of five days of Glorious Goodwood are without doubt the Sussex Stakes, Nassau Stakes and the Goodwood Cup. They’re of the calibre that many of the leading trainers will specifically target the best of their string at them and each is incredibly popular with punters.
The Goodwood Cup is the star attraction of the opening day of Glorious Goodwood. This Group 1 offering is run over a distance of two miles and often attracts the very best stayers on the flat to compete for a healthy prize fund which reached half a million pounds in 2018. Like some of the other best races over the five days the Goodwood Cup is part of the British Champions Series which only helps to strengthen the field.
Although it is a very important race in the long distance division, the Goodwood Cup often allows promising stayers to show just how good they are. That was the case for both Big Orange in 2015 and Stradivarius in 2017 who used the race as a springboard to even bigger wins.
The Goodwood Cup is a tough test of stamina so it is interesting to note that runners coming into the race on the back of an extended break do not have a great record. You don’t want to be backing horses who have not run within more than 45 days of the Goodwood Cup. Moreover, most winners claimed at least a top three place last time out which speaks to the calibre of horses sent to Goodwood by their trainers.
Every punter will assess the form from Royal Ascot when making their picks for Glorious Goodwood but that is a strategy that works better on some races than other. The Sussex Stakes is one of those where Ascot form tends to hold up, especially when it comes to three year olds who have been competing against older horses in this Group 1, one mile contest since the addition of four year olds in 1960 and even older horses in 1975.
Three year olds remain the dominant age group in the Sussex Stakes but recent years brought an increasing number of older winners. By the time that Frankel became the first horse to win the Sussex Stakes twice in 2012 we had become accustomed to seeing winners and four and above and each of the 2017 and 2018 renewals were won by seven year olds. Opening up the race to older horses has done wonders for the prestige with which it’s held by racing fans and the prize money has increased commensurately to the point that it reached £1 million in 2018.
Successful older horses almost all come via the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot whilst the key race for three year olds is the St James’s Palace Stakes. The other important thing to mention is that favourites have a strong record but that too has changed a little in more recent years.
Like the Sussex Stakes, the Nassau Stakes is a chance for three year olds to take on their elders but this Group 1 race is open only to fillies and mares. It’s run over one mile, one furlong and 197 yards and is another race where class tells and the top of the betting market tends to dominate. It is very rare for a horse outside of the top three in the betting to claim the win.
The Nassau Stakes is one of the most historic races that take place at Glorious Goodwood. It was first run all the way back in 1840 when it was named as a gesture of friendship between the 5th Duke of Richmond, who owned Goodwood Racecourse, and the House of Orange-Nassau. The race has changed a bit over the years. It has had the age eligibility changed, the distance changed and was only promoted to Group 1 level in 1999.
There are a few trends to consider when trying to pick the winner of the Nassau Stakes in addition to the record of younger horses. It is a sterner test than the official yardage suggests so horses dropping back in trip should be favoured. For that reason Oaks form tends to hold up well while those who have tasted success in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot often go one to be winners here.
As with any horse racing festival worth its salt, Glorious Goodwood has a mixture of races throughout the five days. Punters know that every race provides opportunity whilst true racing fans look way beyond the Group 1s at Goodwood for their fix of entertainment.
The Group 2 Lennox Stakes is a chance for three year olds who may be yet to find their feet at the top level to contest a prestigious race against older competition. It’s one of the newer races at Goodwood having been introduced in 2000 but quickly caught the imagination as it was promoted from Group 3 level in 2003.
Horses aged from three to seven have won this seven furlong contest since its inception. That is a slight change from the Beewsing Stakes which the Lennox Stakes replaced but the majority of winners at Goodwood were aged either three or four. This tends to be quite a tactical race but the most important attribute is finishing speed as shown by Breton Rock when claiming a surprise 50/1 win in 2017.
Golden Mile Handicap
The Golden Mile Handicap has gone under a few different names in recent years but remains one of a few devilishly difficult handicaps for punters to try and wrap their heads around during Glorious Goodwood. It’s the sort of race that is readymade for each way betting due to the big field, the high number of potential winners and the amount that luck in running plays when deciding a winner.
This is also a race in which the draw plays a big role in proceedings. Generally speaking you would want your horse to be drawn lower than 12 but that can change if those likely to set the early pace are drawn high. The healthy prize fund means competition for a place in the race is so high that three year olds struggle to get a run but younger horses do have a decent record when given a chance.
King George Stakes
The King George Stakes is the fastest race of the week at Glorious Goodwood. Run over a distance of just five furlongs this Group 2 sprint is a real blink and you’ll miss it affair which used to be known as the Audi Stakes.
The specialised nature of these short distance sprints mean that the leading contenders of the King George Stakes will often face each other multiple times over the course of the season. That helps to provide compelling storylines in the build up to the race and some thrilling renewals. The winning time has been under one minute since 1994 with Rudi’s Pet holding the record at 56.01 seconds.
The Stewards’ Cup is the biggest betting heat of the week. This super competitive handicap is run over a distance of six furlongs but is no straight forward sprint. It is always an incredibly tactical contest which is why a certain amount of experience in big field, short distance handicaps is vital. That’s true even of younger horses as even recent three year old winners had been tested in this sort of contest before.
The specialised nature of the Stewards’ Cup and the amount of previous form and trends to go on means that the market tends to be very good at sorting the wheat from the chaff, especially when the draw is made. That is not to say that long odds shots cannot win just that single odds winners are becoming increasingly common.
This Group 2, seven furlong race is a chance for younger horses to take to the stage at Glorious Goodwood. The Vintage Stakes is often used by leading trainers as a yardstick to measure their potential Classic contenders and has been won by Galileo Golf and Highland Reel in recent times.
The Gordon Stakes is one mile, three and a half furlong race for three year olds which is held on the final day of Glorious Goodwood. It’s a Group 3 contest which often includes horses who go on to compete in the St Leger with nine horses winning both over the years. Some of the biggest names in training have won the Gordon Stakes but nobody has matches Sir Michael Stoute’s tally of 10 wins.
The Glorious Stakes has undergone a number of changes since it first became part of Glorious Goodwood in 1979. It became known by its present name in 1989, was closed to horses younger than four in 1993 and was promoted to Group 3 level in 2008. With a prize fund in excess of £100,000 it’s a well-regarded race which is run over one mile, three furlongs and 218 yards.
Named after the Duke of Richmond and first run in 1877, the Richmond Stakes is a six furlong, Group 2 race for juvenile colts and geldings. Like many of these high level races for two year olds many winners have gone on to win big things whilst some have faded into obscurity.
The history of horse racing in Britain is a long and storied one and Goodwood Racecourse has played an important role in it. The West Sussex course has been hosting horse races for over 200 years and whilst almost everything that goes around the Sport of Kings has changed immeasurably, the simple thrill of watching finely tuned thoroughbreds chase each other home remains timeless.
The third Duke of Richmond is credited with creating Goodwood Racecourse in 1802. In those early days it was used by officers of the Sussex Militia for a two day festival which quickly blossomed to a vital local annual event. The third Duke of Richmond used to compete as a jockey and whilst the current Duke retains a watching brief he still works hard to keep the entire Goodwood Estate a world class venue for racing fans from far and wide.
A Complete History of Glorious Goodwood
Referred to as “A garden party with racing tacked on” by ardent racing – and partying – enthusiast King Edward VII, Glorious Goodwood continues to balance relaxation and top-quality equine action with aplomb.
The racing has in truth cast an ever-larger shadow over the garden party aspect of this meeting as the years have gone by, largely down to the steadily increasing quality of the fare on offer. Here we take a look at the key events which have helped to make Glorious Goodwood the summertime racing highlight that it is today.
1802 – Racing Begins At Goodwood
The first racing of any description actually took place a year earlier than this in 1801. That initial gathering was a largely private affair though, hosted by the Duke of Richmond for the local army officers.
It was the meeting in 1802 which was the first to be open to the public. Held over three days, this marked the day when the seed was sown for the five-day bonanza we know and love today. Before too long the meeting would be christened “Glorious Goodwood” by the press, although the festival wouldn’t really take shape for a number of years.
1808 – Inaugural Goodwood Cup
The Goodwood Cup remains one of the real flagship contests at the Sussex venue to this day, and is one of only three Group 1 (status granted in 2017) contests to be held at the Glorious Goodwood Festival.
Initially held over a three-mile trip, a horse by the name of Bucephalus won each of the first three editions, leading to the race’s silver trophy being awarded to his connections on a permanent basis. A gold trophy has been awarded to the winner ever since.
Whilst stamina is still the number one pre-requisite for success, the race isn’t quite the marathon it was, with the distance being decreased to two miles in 1990.
1814 – Glorious In July For The First Time
Late July/early August wouldn’t be quite the same for modern racing fans without this cracking meeting. It wasn’t always this way though, with the 12 initial editions being held in May, before then switching to July in 1814.
1840 – Nassau Stakes And Stewards’ Cup Make Their Debuts
The majority of the racing festivals to take place over the course of the season offer top notch events restricted to the fillies’ and mares, and Glorious Goodwood is no different. Held over a distance just shy of 1m2f, and named in honour of the House of Orange-Nassau (a Dutch aristocratic house with close ties to the then Duke of Richmond), the race was finally granted Group 1 status in 1999.
Also joining the meeting in this year was the race which has grown into the standout handicap contest to be run over the five days – the Stewards’ Cup. Initially held on the opening day of the meeting, the popularity of the contest saw it moved to a headlining spot in the heart of the card on the closing Saturday in 1993.
1841 – Sussex Stakes Enters The Fray
The Goodwood Cup may have slightly more history behind it, but for many racing fans the undoubted standout contest of the week is this event held over the one-mile trip. A Group 1 affair for runners aged three and older, the event lays on a high-class clash of the generations year after year.
The first ever edition of the Sussex Stakes run in 1841 however bore little resemblance to the event we know and love today, being as it was a 6f affair for the two year olds. It wasn’t until 1878 that the distance was increased to one mile and the race was opened to three year olds. Four year olds were then permitted to enter in 1960, with those aged five and older following in 1975.
1877 – First Richmond Stakes
One of the top events for the juveniles of the meeting, this Group 2 affair was originally open to all, but has been restricted to male runners since 1989. 1949 champ Palestine is perhaps the most significant winner in the race’s history, with the colt having gone on to further success in the 1950 2000 Guineas.
1878 – Hungarian King
There are many international superstars to have strutted their stuff at this meeting over the years, but not many who quite compare to 1878 Goodwood Cup winner, Kingscem. The greatest Hungarian racehorse of all time posted an astonishing 54 race unbeaten record over the course of his career, a feat unlikely to ever be seen again.
1911 – King Honoured At Goodwood
1911 saw the Coronation of a new king in the shape of King George V. Goodwood racecourse paid their own tribute to the new monarch with the introduction of a brand new contest at the meeting.
Held over the flying 5f track, the King George Stakes is one of the major draws of the summer months for the real speedballs in training. Won by many of the true greats of the sprinting game, including the brilliant Lochsong, the race was granted its current Group 2 status in 2010.
1941 – Newmarket To The Rescue
In common with many racecourses in Britain, there was no racing held at Goodwood between the war years of 1915-18 and 1940-45. Whilst this does leave a gap in the history of the great festival races, Newmarket did at least do their bit to help out in 1941 – staging both the Sussex Stakes and King George Stakes that year. As of 2019, this remains the only occasion any of the major Glorious Goodwood contests have been held away from their Sussex home.
1953 – Popularity Booms
Glorious Goodwood became a key date on the social calendars of the elite almost as soon as it began but it didn’t take too long for a groundswell of support to emerge amongst the general public. 1953 marked a real watershed moment in this regard as a record crowd of 55,000 watched the action at the track, with around 21,000 estimated to be observing from the free-to-access Trundle Hill.
1970 – Four Becomes Five
Given the growing popularity of the meeting, it wasn’t too surprising when the decision was taken to add an extra day in order to cater to demand and, dare we suggest, make a few more quid as well. Traditionally a Tuesday to Friday affair, the Saturday was added to this meeting in 1970 and it has been held as a five-day event ever since.
1975 – A Vintage Addition
The 1975 edition of the festival saw a bolstering of the juvenile roster with the introduction of a 7f event, the Vintage Stakes. Initially a Listed contest, the race was granted Group 2 status in 2003, and has thrown up a number of future Classic winners over the years, including Epsom Derby kings, Troy, Dr Devious and Sir Percy.
1980 – Royal Attendance
She may be more famous for her attendance at a certain other summertime racing festival, but Her Majesty the Queen does turn up at Glorious Goodwood from time to time. HRH was called into action at the track in 1980 in order to officially open the brand new March Stand.
The structure wasn’t just liked by the Queen though. The Concrete Society most certainly approved of Goodwood’s latest offering, awarding the March Stand their annual award for 1980. Who says Glorious Goodwood isn’t glamourous?
1990 – Modern Modifications
Always keen to move with the times, the racecourse underwent extensive modifications prior to the 1990 festival, with improvements made to the pre-parade ring and winner’s enclosure amongst other areas. A big improvement for racegoers overall, some of the changes also made things a little easier for the horses themselves due to a decrease in race distances. As a result of the reconfiguration, it was necessary to move the winning post a total of 31 yards closer to the race start lines.
1998 – Double Does The Treble
There had been a fair number of horses do the double in Goodwood’s showpiece staying contest over the years – but until 1998 no horse had landed three Goodwood Cups. The horse to change all that was Mark Johnston’s hugely popular stayer, Double Trigger. First successful in 1995, he missed the 1996 edition, but returned to stamp his authority on proceedings in 1997 and 1998.
2000 – Endless Infamy
The turn of the century saw one of the more unusual incidents in the history of this marvellous meeting, in an ultimately ill-fated act of fraud. John Gosden (who it should be noted was innocent in all of this) sent out Endless Summer to come home in front in the Richmond Stakes, with the colt later going on to finish second in a Group 1 over in France.
Nothing unusual in that, but upon closer inspection it was discovered that the horse’s birth had been deliberately mis-registered, and Endless Summer was in fact officially a three year old throughout his “juvenile” season. Such unfair advantages are frowned upon by the authorities and the horse was subsequently disqualified from all four of his juvenile starts.
2000 – Lennox Makes Debut
The turn of the century saw a welcome addition to the Goodwood offering as the Lennox Stakes made its debut. A replacement for the discontinued Beeswing Stakes at Newcastle, the race provides a Group race platform for those specialist 7f performers. Initially introduced as a Group 3, the status of the race was raised to Group 2 just three years after its debut.
2003 – Lillie Latest Group Addition
The Lilly Langtry Stakes entered the fray in 2003, although this 1m6f event for the fillies and mares went under the title of the Gladness Stakes in that first year. Goodwood Cup winner Gladness had her name in up in lights for just the one year though, as in 2004 the contest was renamed in honour of one of the mistresses of King Edward VII, and has been known as the Lilly Langtry Stakes ever since. 2015 champ Simple Verse is easily the most famous winner in the brief history of the event, having gone on to claim Classic glory in the St. Leger.
2006 – Goodwood’s Race Of The Century
The 1975 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot is widely touted as the race of the 20th century, but when it comes to head to head battles in the 21st century, the 2006 Nassau Stakes laid down a marker that may be tough to beat.
Defending champion Alexandra Goldrun and all-time great Ouija Board were the fillies involved in what turned into a truly titanic tussle. Seven fillies went to post that day, but there were only two in this from well over 2f out. Alexandra Goldrun initially looking to be travelling better, but following a prolonged hammer and tongs battle, it was Ouija Board who prevailed by a short head under the Frankie Dettori drive. This brilliant finish is now a contest etched in racing folklore.
2011 – Midday Magnificent
The great Sir Henry Cecil will be forever associated with the wonder horse that was Frankel, but he did have a few other good ones come through his ranks prior to the “greatest of all time”, including the tough and talented filly, Midday.
Roussalka (1975,1976) and Ruby Tiger (1991,1992) had been the only dual winners of the Nassau Stakes prior to 2009. Not only did Midday equal that when coming home in front in 2009 and 2010, she then promptly went on to claim top spot in 2011 too – becoming the first ever three-time champ, 171 years after the inaugural running of the race.
2012 – The Greatest Graces Goodwood
It takes a good horse to win the Sussex Stakes on one occasion. To land the prize twice had proved beyond all those who had attempted it until 2012. It was no ordinary horse lining up to defend his crown in that year though.
Five lengths too good for Canford Cliffs in the “duel on the downs” in 2011, the mighty Frankel was sent off at odds of just 1/20 in 2012, and duly delivered when slamming his unfortunate rivals by six lengths – becoming the first ever dual winner in the history of the race.
2014 – Qatar Boost
Already competitive in terms of the prize money on offer, Glorious Goodwood received a big sponsorship boost ahead of the 2014 festival. So big in fact that it was the biggest sponsorship agreement in the history of British horseracing.
The gulf nation of Qatar were the significant new backers, immediately boosting the prize money over the course of the week by £2million, with an agreement in place to increase this still further year upon year. The official title of the meeting has been the Qatar Goodwood Festival ever since, although, of course, almost everyone still refers to it as Glorious Goodwood.
2017 – Double Figures For Sir Michael
Renowned for his success with older horses, the truth is that Sir Michael Stoute is a master trainer across the board – including with his three year olds. One of the finest examples of his prowess comes in Glorious Goodwood’s Gordon Stakes. First successful with Electric in 1982, Stoute landed this Group 3 prize for a remarkable tenth time with Crystal Ocean in 2017.
2019 – History Makers
The King George Stakes and Goodwood Cup may come at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the distance over which they are run, but in 2019 they did have something in common – namely that the winner of each race entered the history books for the very same reason.
Prior to 2019 no horse had won either race three years in succession. Now both contests have treble heroes on their roll of honour. Stradivarius was the first to deliver in the opening day’s Goodwood Cup, joining Double Trigger (who missed a year between his first and second wins) on three successes in the race. Then came the bullet-like Battaash from the yard of Charles Hills who scorched the turf for the third year in a row in the Day Four event for the speedsters.