Glorious Goodwood Horse Racing

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  1. Glorious Goodwood is an annual race meet, held at the Goodwood racecourse in Surrey. It's one of the true highlights of the British flat racing season.
  2. The meet dates back more than 200 years. These days, it's held over four days at the end of July or the beginning of August, attracting huge crowds and the world's best horses are riders. In 2015 Opening Day is Tuesday 28th July and last day is Saturday 1st August
  3. The opening Tuesday is famous for its procession honouring past winners. This day also sees the Lennox Stakes contested
  4. On the second day, it's time for the world-famous Sussex Stakes. This attracts lots of bets and always promises to be a good race
  5. Thursday is always Ladies Day at Glorious Goodwood. Expect to see high fashion and world-class racing, especially in the Artemis Goodwood Cup
  6. The second of the two major Group 1 flat races held at Goodwood is the Nassau Stakes. This always takes place on the Saturday and always attracts a huge number of bets
  7. If you do fancy having a flutter on the action of Glorious Goodwood, do your homework and make sure you know what you're doing when you're betting on a horse

About Glorious Goodwood

Glorious Goodwood is an annual race meeting, held at the famous Goodwood Racecourse, just outside the West Sussex city of Chichester.

The meet is widely-regarded as one of the highlights of the British flat racing calendar, not least since it plays host to two of the major Group1 flat races, namely the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes. 

The popularity of Glorious Goodwood means that tens of thousands of people visit the West Sussex racecourse every year, plus all of its races are popular with sports betting fans, particularly the major events.

However, it's not just about the horses! Indeed, King Edward VII famously described the meet as a "glorious garden party with a bit of racing tagged on", and this spirit remains today. The King was the first to ditch formal morning dress in favour of more laid-back (but still formal) attire and, thanks partly to him, the five days are equally as famous for their high fashion, socialising, food and drink and other entertainment as they are for the world-class racing taking place the other side of the white fences.

The fact that it's not as formal as Royal Ascot makes it a perefct first meeting to go to if you're new to the Sport of Kings, while the number and variety of races held over the five days makes it a great occasion if you like to have a flutter or two. 

History of Glorious Goodwood

Racing at Goodwood dates back more than 200 years. The first few races were held back in 1802, when the-then Duke of Richmond invited locally-based army officers to join in a few informal races. The Duke quickly made the races an annual event, setting up a proper course in the grounds of his stately home. Over the next few decades, the meet went from being a two-day event to a three-day event and was soon taking place over a whole week, with the standard of horses and jockeys steadily improving.

During the years of the Second World War, all horse racing was suspended, but it made a spectacular return in the post-war years and, by 1953, as many as 55,000 spectators were flocking to the first day of the annual meet.

Ever since the 1950s, the event has been growing and growing. The racecourse is continually being improved and expanded, with the Charlton Stand opened in 1989 and the Sussex Stand opened in 1990.

The most significant change to Glorious Goodwood of recent years was the introduction of Sunday racing in 1995, allowing even more people to enjoy the sport of kings at this fabulous historic venue.

Glorious Goodwood 2015

The 2015 Glorious Goodwood festival of racing (now known officially as the 'Qatar Goodwood Festival) will take place between Tuesday 28th July and Saturday 1st August. Once again, the five days will feature not only world-class flat racing, but also top-end hospitality, entertainment and high fashion. For 2015, the music star Paloma Faith will be DJ-ing on Champions Day and, once again, a stellar line-up of female amateurs will compete for the Magnolia Cup on Ladies' Day.  

Ahead of the action, almost all of the biggest trainers in the sport have confirmed that they will have at least one runner at Glorious Goodwood. Once again, this should ensure that the capacity crowds are treated to the spectacle of the best horses in the world in action, while also giving them a chance to see some of the best young flat racers try and make a name for themselves. 

Tickets for the 2015 festival are on sale right throughout. While tickets for the best enclosures always sell out well in advance, it's usually possible to get a ticket on the day itself. For more information and to book your place to watch the Sport of Kings, check out the official Glorious Goodwood website

Key Events 

Glorious Goodwood takes place over five days, traditionally at the end of July or the beginning of August. Over the course of the five days, there's plenty of racing, as well as a host of other events, with patrons invited to wine and dine by the side of the track whilst following all the action.

Just some of the traditional highlights of Glorious Goodwood include:

  • Opening Day: Each year, the meet gets off to a spectacular start with an Opening Ceremony. Here, Goodwood celebrates past winners and the year's trophies will also be unveiled to the crowds. Alongside the main procession and other opening celebrations, there's also plenty of racing action. Highlight of the day is the Lennox Stakes, a seven-furlong Group 2 flat race open to thoroughbreds aged three years or over.
  • Day 2: The Sussex Stakes: Dating back to 1841, the Sussex Stakes is one of the most-prestigious events on the flat racing calendar. The race sees thoroughbreds ages three years or upwards compete for a purse of £300,000 over a distance of exactly a mile. A number of superstar horses have won the Sussex Stakes, most recently Frankel, who won in 20011 and 2012, Tornado and Rip Van Winkle.
  • Day 3: Ladies Day: The third day of the annual meet is traditionally Ladies Day, when fashion, high society all come together. One of the most glamorous occasions on the racing calendar, it's a day which sees the historic Artemis Goodwood Cup held on this old track, with other racing highlights including the Richmond Stakes and the Magnolia Cup celebrities' race. Look out for supermodel Edie Campbell in the Magnolia Cup, As the celebrity patron of the race, she won convincingly in 2014 and it will take something extra special to prevent her from taking first place again this year. 
  • Day 4: King George Stakes: Friday at Goodwood is arguably the best day for racing, with a host of big races exciting spectators and punters alike. In all, four Group races take place over the course of the day, including the King George Stakes, the Oak Tree Stakes, the Glorious Stakes and the Thoroughbred Stakes.
  • Day 5: Nassau Stakes: Goodwood always ends on a high, with the Nassau Stakes traditionally held on the Saturday. The Group 1 flat race is open to thoroughbred fillies and mares aged three years or over. Run over a distance of one mile and one furlong, it offers a prize purse in excess of £200,000, ensuring it attracts the very best horses and riders.  

Watching the Action

One way to follow all the action from Glorious Goodwood is to watch the racing on your television. Channel 4 Racing owns the broadcast rights for the entire meet, with all the big races televised live.

Alternatively, you could join the crowds and follow all the action live. Tickets for individual days, including a range of hospitality packages are usually available right up to the start of the festival, with discounts available for groups, families and concessions. You can get some tickets here at Tickets and Events Goodwood

Note, however, that the prestigious Richmond Enclosure is only open to Goodwood Members and their guests during the festival. Non-Members are allowed to sit in the other two enclosures, the Gordon Enclosure and the Lennox Enclosure, however.

Some other things you may need to know before heading to Glorious Goodwood are:

  • Goodwood operates a relatively-strict dress code in the Richmond Enclosure. Here, gentlemen are required to wear jackets and either a tie or a cravat, while ladies are strongly encouraged to wear hats.
  • Elsewhere around the course, informal dress is allowed, although it is not encouraged. Fancy dress is, however, strictly forbidden in all enclosures.
  • Guests are permitted to bring their own food and drink into some parts of Goodwood, though plenty of bars and restaurants are available right throughout the grounds.

Betting on Glorious Goodwood

The five days of Glorious Goodwood are perfect for racing. Nearly all the events attract top horses, riders and trainers, and, while the favourites usually win, there are often plenty of upsets.

One way of betting on the action is to do so at the course itself. Dozens of betting booths are dotted around the different enclosures, with odds on the next race updated right until it begins. As a rule, most track bookies will ask you bet a minimum of £2, though in some places the minimum may be as much as £10. The racecourse information boards, as well as the Glorious Goodwood website, both provide up-to-the-minute information on the going on the track, information that can help you make a savvy bet.

If you don't make it to Goodwood in person, then it's still very easy to put a bet on any number of races.

While all high street bookmakers will offer odds on almost all of the races held over the five days, if you want the best selection of odds and betting markets, you should sign up for an online betting account. See our Top Betting Sites list that we have especially put together with the latest account opening offers. Better still, signing up for more than one account means you will be able to compare the odds on offer, thereby boosting your potential winnings. 

As well as betting on individual races, you can also bet on which jockey will ride the most winners over the course of the five days, or even who will be the most successful trainer at Goodwood. 

Before you do put any money down on Glorious Goodwood, you should know what you're doing. A good understanding of how odds work, what terms like 'each-way' mean and how a horse's form or the going affects their chances will all help you win money from the bookmaker. Check out this guide to betting on horses for a few top tips.

Further Reading    

  • Glorious Goodwood is made for betting, with more than a dozen exciting races to have a flutter on. However, be sure you know what you're doing before you put any money down. Read this how to bet on horses before you make a commitment.
  • Want to know more about different types of Horse Racing? What is a flat race and what makes a handicap races? Then see our Guide to Types of Horse Racing.
  • Glorious Goodwood is one of several well-known British Horse Racing events in the racing calendar, we cover all kinds of sporting events and more horse racing one’s including the Grand National and Royal Ascot can be found in our Sports Events site section.
  • Like all kinds of gambling, having a flutter on the horses can become addictive. If you feel your betting is getting out of hand, contact Gamble Aware for some free, impartial advice.

  • If you can't make it to Goodwood this year, consider one of the other famous racing festivals including the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot, the Grand National and Ebor.

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