Goodwood Racecourse welcomed more than 10,500 racegoers to the start of its 2019 season on Saturday ( May 7).
Impressive investment over the winter months was well received with guests enjoying The Kitchen, and revamped coffee outlets inside the Richmond and Gordon Enclosures. New undercover betting facilities were a hive of activity, and the state-of-the-art big screen meant that racegoers in the Lennox Enclosure enjoyed the perfect vantage point
to witness racing action relayed from across The Downs.
The turf played host to an exhilarating afternoon of racing with local trainers and jockeys showcasing their talents. The eight-race card began with The Double Trigger Handicap Stakes, where the local challenge looked strong with the favourite Cristal Spirit trained at Chiddingfold by George Baker and bred by Meon Valley.
However, it was Horsham trainer Gary Moore whose runner, Rydan, landed the race. Held up in midfield, he travelled strongly into the home straight before hitting the front inside the final furlong to beat long-time leader Berrahri.
Brighton-born jockey Jason Watson maintained a good rapport with his local track when successful on Dominus for Brian Meehan in The Sussex Roof Garden Novice Stakes.
Victorious in the Stewards’ Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in 2018, he commented; “I have a close affinity with the track, it’s one of my favourite racecourses to ride and a real family day out for me.” Now closely associated with Roger Charlton he looks like a jockey to follow for the 2019 flat season.
The two Listed contests attracted high-quality fields. The first, The Unibet EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes, provided a second win in the race for John Gosden when Enbihaar prevailed. In a race run to suit, the lightly raced 11-4 shot finished strongly under Dane O’Neil to beat favourite Klassique, with the two fillies going more than four lengths clear of the field.
The subsequent Conqueror Fillies’ Stakes saw the William Haggas trained Awesometank bounce back to form following a below-par run at the end of last season.
Shane Kelly rode a back-to-back double on the card when Kimifive won The Unibet Handicap Stakes. Run over 7 furlongs, the flashy chestnut showed a good turn of foot. Then Puds, trained at Lambourn by Richard Hughes followed up with another victory for this jockey in the five furlong race, winning by a very short head from Just Glamorous in The Farmer, Butcher, Chef Handicap Stakes.f
Richard Hughes commented: “We held him up today and it worked a treat, the plan is now to go to Sweden for a Listed 6f race at Malmo in mid-May”.
There were plenty of chances inside the last furlong in both divisions of The Long View Handicap Stakes. Dreamweaver came out on top in Division One for young trainer Ed Walker, the dam of the winner, Livia’s Dream, was Ed’s first winner as a trainer.
Favourite Takumi, trained by Roger Varian, didn’t have it all his way in Division Two but he knuckled down to secure the win over Htilominlo.
Alex Eade, General Manager of Goodwood Racecourse, said: “It was great to see so many people enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend. We now look forward to the May Festival which takes place from May 23-25. Our Food Market will invite guests to sample and shop an array of locally-sourced food and drink, while top chefs will host a number of culinary displays.”
Tickets can be purchased for Goodwood’s May Festival from £20 in advance and children under 18 go free in all enclosures.
Please call 01243 216610 or visit Goodwood.com for tickets, hospitality and further information.