Goodwood Celebrates Record Breaking Year
Record prize money, a record number of fixtures and most probably a record number of runners and racegoers are expected as Goodwood puts its best foot forward in anticipation of the busiest year in its illustrious 207-year history.
June Friday evenings are due to receive a makeover, while a £1.5 million investment by caterers Compass Group and a newly formed alliance between Payne and Gunter and Goodwood in the form of Goodwood Food, will see the racecourse offer the very best in hospitality.
The new Bank Holiday Fixture on Monday, May 25, which will be billed as a Family Fun Day with free entertainment throughout the racecourse takes the number of fixtures to 23, the greatest number of racedays since racing started at Goodwood in 1802.
The commitment from the Levy Board is great news for owners and trainers as well as racing fans who can look forward to not only more action on the track, but also witness the ever-improving standard of racing which has been a feature at Goodwood over the last couple of decades and which was very much the case in 2008.
Managing Director Rod Fabricius explained: “The racing last year was very pleasing. We are often referred to as the world’s most beautiful racecourse and people also talk about what a great place Goodwood is to socialise, but I am delighted that our commitment to prize money, turf husbandry and our desire to promote world class racing was supported by owners and trainers alike.
“Raven’s Pass may have lost to Henrythenavigator in the BGC Sussex Stakes, but he returned in August to win the totesport.com Celebration Mile before going on to victory in the QE II Stakes at Ascot and the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita gaining revenge over Henry on both occasions.
“Conduit was another who won at Goodwood, winning the Betfair Gordon Stakes before going on to win both the St Leger and Breeders Cup Turf.
“We are happy to be known as the world’s most beautiful racecourse and for the exceptionally warm welcome people receive but we also want to be known for the world-class racing that we put on.
“Building a successful racecourse requires investment and strong commercial relationships and we are delighted that the Levy Board investment combined with our own contribution and support from owners and sponsors will result in record prize money of £3.75 million. The agreement of a new seven-year deal with Compass Group and their investment of £1.5 million in our catering facilities will assist in our drive towards culinary excellence and the highest possible standards of entertaining.”
The June Friday Evening Meetings will also be in for a new look, with music and fashion featuring heavily as the Racecourse looks to draw in new customers by focussing on the sociability of these fixtures.
Marketing & PR Manager Callum MacKay commented: “We are well aware of what people expect from Goodwood and the sense of occasion created at Glorious Goodwood is a big draw for racegoers. The Friday evening fixtures are popular but we believe that they have great potential especially if we focus on the sociable nature of these meetings and provide entertainment which will appeal to the social racegoer.
“We want to really engage with our customers and provide entertainment which is both surprising and entertaining. We have a similar philosophy towards the new Bank Holiday fixture, although in this case we will be targeting a family audience but again we will be looking to surprise and entertain them.”
In 2008 Richard Hannon was the runaway winner of the Dick Hern Award, the trophy given to the leading trainer for the year. In total he had a record number of 15 winners at Goodwood last year, the majority of them two-year-olds, but also included Paco Boy’s victory in the Group 2 Betfair Cup.
Rod Fabricius said: “Richard has been a great supporter of Goodwood over the years and we are grateful that he has hosted our media day today. Paco Boy was clearly very progressive last year starting off in Group 3 company before going on to win the Prix de la Foret at the end of the season and we would hope that we will see him back at Goodwood next year contesting the Sussex Stakes. Congratulations are also due to Richard Hughes who had 13 winners last year. It is often said Goodwood is a difficult track to ride but I would suggest that if any jockey needs a few tips then they should speak to Richard who definitely knows his way around.”
Glorious Goodwood was attended by 102,000 people in 2008 and 227,000 people came racing across the whole season.
There will be 23 race meetings in 2009, the full fixture list is below:
Glorious Goodwood - July
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