Goodwood

Hoofing It

Circuit

Goodwood

Race Types

Flat

Approx no. of meetings

19

Getting There

Rail from London (1 hour, 40 minutes.) Also, services from Brighton and Southampton.

Railway station to Racecourse (Complementary bus service from station to course)

Taxis – Book beforehand on big race days.

Website

https://www.goodwood.com/sports/horseracing/

Facilities

Three main stands, corporate boxes, a large number of dining options in terms of restaurants and food concessions.  Betting was widely available across the Tote but on the day we were there the computers were down for half the meeting so that nobody on-site could put on a placepot.

Staying over

Goodwood hotel and a number of option in the nearby town of Chichester

Tickets

On most race days, tickets start from £12 per person, Qatar Festival ticket prices far higher.  Two main forms of ticket enclosure, which were merged on family day.  We were on a reciprocal day from Lingfield.

Rating

(1) Return after challenge complete

The Day

10 June 2018– Tracks visited: UK (46), Irish (3), Rest of the World (2))

When you think of British racing, your mind is drawn to 8 iconic tracks; Aintree, Cheltenham, York, Ascot, Doncaster, Newmarket, Epsom and Goodwood.  Today was our first visit to the last of the set and our expectations were high having enjoyed our time at the others greatly.  Arriving by car on what was a reciprocal day from our Lingfield home course, we were pleasantly surprised as the ease of entry to the track and the general level of organisation and stewarding.


A small negative seemed to be that the officials and security staff who had briefing notes about reciprocal members visiting all seemed to interpret them differently meaning we were told we could and then could not enter various areas once we had traipsed up and down sets of steps.  Best if you get all of your officials and day security staff briefed properly and consistently. 


Whinge over, this is a spectacular track.  I am reminding of two things, first the way that the course follows the curvature of the down is reminiscent of both Brighton and Epsom.  The natural amphitheatre means that you only have to climb two or three steps in the grandstand to be able to see the entire track.  The other memory is the shape of the track which is rather like a bent knitting needle with a huge eye on one end, which provided a very flexible set of starting locations for varying length races. The made me think of the likes of Salisbury and Hamilton.  One thing I would improve though is that there was one repeater screen we could see and this was down at the finish line. For those having picnics on the day and down in the cheap seats at the 2 and 3 furlough posts may see the horses go past but would not be able to tell who finished first.


The parade ring here is a rather splendid affair, behind the main stand, which does give the tidal effect I so often mention, but this ring is beautifully laid out.  The is a great deal of soft box-like hedging which forms a set of concentric oval rings so that a large number of people can see the horses.  I imagine during the festival, although no as large as the ring as Cheltenham, that this would be extremely effective.


The organisers did a great job to get the balance right on the day between the family elements, the fun fair, the two early pony races and the main event with good sized fields in all but one of the races.  The commentary was clear and audible from everywhere we stood and the views from the stands are breath-taking.  However, I think I can wait before I come again as I am still stuck by the charm of smaller courses.   


One final remark for anyone reading this.  There is much talk in British racing about the impact of alcohol and its abuse at race tracks, with recent high-profile issues in the news.  Why then do you find it necessary only to sell champagne by the bottle?  In France, it was sold by the Coupe, alongside small beers. I saw no signs of public drunkenness at Compiegne, but I have seen it at British race tracks.


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