Settle in for a wonderful week at Glorious Goodwood – here’s what you need to know…

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  • Glorious Goodwood, or the Qatar Goodwood Festival, as it is known in 2021, gets underway today (27 July – 31 July).

    A highlight of the summer Flat season, Glorious Goodwood offers viewers and spectators a feast of some of the best racing action, with 36 races taking place over the five-day meeting.

    The meeting features no less than three Group One races – Group One being the highest level of Flat racing – with some of Britain and Europe’s best horses, trainers and jockeys going head-to-head throughout the week.

    In addition, there are five Group Two races, five Group Three races and some sought-after handicaps too, which means viewers will be spoilt in terms of top notch racing action.

    Glorious Goodwood takes place in the picturesque West Sussex countryside and is steeped in history with the first public meeting at the course dating back to 1802.

    The 2021 meeting will offer a mouthwatering prize pot in excess of £4.8m over the five days of action, so here’s the important things you need to know to make the most of watching the action…

    Trainer to watch

    Charlie Hills is a trainer to watch this week as he prepares to send Battaash out in a bid for this horse to win his fifth consecutive victory in the King George Qatar Stakes on Friday. Charlie also has Tilsit, winner of the Summer Mile, who will bid to win a Group One in the Qatar Sussex Stakes on Wednesday.

    Jockey to watch

    Frankie Dettori shows no sign of slowing down, despite now being 50 years old, as he continues to ride Group One winner after winner. He is booked to ride some good horses this week, so keep a close eye on him.

    Horse to watch

    There are many famous racehorses to look out for this week, but keep an eye on Poetic Flare in Wednesday’s Qatar Sussex Stakes. Trained by Jim Bolger, he was impressive when winning at Royal Ascot in June, which followed up his 2,000 Guineas at the start of the season.

    Key races at Glorious Goodwood

    Tuesday 27 July – Goodwood Cup day

    The main race highlight is the Qatar Goodwood Cup.

    Wednesday 28 July – Sussex Stakes day

    The Qatar Sussex Stakes has previously been won by the likes of Frankel and in 2020, the mighty Mohaather.

    Thursday 29 July – Ladies’ Day

    Ladies’ Day features the Qatar Nassau Stakes and the Magnolia Cup too.

    Friday 30th July – King George day

    The Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes is a sprint race not to be missed. This year, the incredible Battaash bids to clock his fifth win in this race.

    Saturday 31st July – Stewards’ Cup day

    The Unibet Stewards’ Cup is another sprint race and previous winners include Lochsong and Dancing Star.

    How to watch Glorious Goodwood from home

    ITV Racing will be showing the first five races on all days of Glorious Goodwood with coverage starting at 1.30pm and finishing at 4.30pm from Tuesday to Friday. On Saturday, coverage starts at 1.10pm and finishes at 4pm.

    Racing TV will be showing all of the races from Goodwood live every day of the festival.

    Unusual facts about Glorious Goodwood

    The first meeting at Goodwood on the Sussex Downs took place over 200 years ago.

    Goodwood is a racecourse like no other, with undulations and a tight, right-handed loop, which means horses have to be brave and well-balanced.

    Edward VII described Glorious Goodwood as “a garden party with racing tacked on’’, and he shocked racegoers in 1906 by dressing in a Panama hat and linen suit, but the idea caught on and it is now the unofficial uniform for gentlemen at the festival.

    The 2m5f Goodwood Stakes is unusual as it is one of the few races on the Flat started by tape and runners race up the straight the wrong way on the first circuit.

    One of the few races on the Flat started by tape, the marathon event requires a special type of horse as tensions often reach boiling point when contenders jockey for position in front of the stands.

    Famous victories at the meeting

    Frankel – winner of the 2011 Sussex Stakes
    Big Orange – winner of the 2015 Goodwood Cup
    Rock Of Gibraltar – winner of the 2002 Sussex Stakes
    Stradivarius – four times winner of the Goodwood Cup
    Battaash – winner of the 2018 King George Stakes

    Dress code

    While there is no strict dress code, racegoers are encouraged to dress to impress.

    The Magnolia Cup

    On Thursday 29 July 2021, 11 women will ride in The Magnolia Cup at Goodwood, all in aid of supporting women. This renowned charity event sees riders – leading women of business, sport, fashion and media – take part in the opening race of Ladies’ Day.

    In 2019 Khadijah Mellah helped the race make headlines around the globe, as she became the first woman to not only ride in but also to win a race in Britain wearing a hijab.


    Tickets are still available and all are welcome to attend Glorious Goodwood. Prices start from £20 and there are a range of packages available, ranging from basic entry, which includes:

    • Trackside viewing
    • Big screen viewing so you can see the racing action from start to finish.
    • Grandstand (seated and standing)
    • Betting facilities including over 30 bookmakers for fixed odds betting and pool betting
    • A choice of outdoor bars and food outlets
    • Bring your own picnic (alcohol not permitted)
    • Live Irish band
    • Children’s play area

    There are also a range of hospitality packages available, starting from £252 and private boxes from £546.

    How to get there

    Goodwood is located just outside Chichester, only 60 miles from London, 30 miles from Brighton and Southampton.

    There are a number of free and paid-for car parking options available.

    Chichester Railway Station is a 15 minute taxi or bus ride from the racecourse. The 900 bus service operates from Chichester Railway Station to the racecourse each day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, costing £5 single and £7.50 return (£3 single and £3.50 return for children). It departs at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour, from 10.15am until 2.15pm. The last return journey from the racecourse will be 30 minutes following the last race.

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