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Goodwood Racecourse – All You Need to Know

Published on June 22, 2022
Updated on November 14, 2023
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Goodwood Racecourse - All You Need to Know

Where is Goodwood Racecourse?

Owner: Goodwood House (property of the Duke of Richmond)

Address: Selhurst Park Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0PS

Tel: +44 1243 755022


The Goodwood estate also includes a motor racing circuit. An annual highlight is its Festival of Speed meeting, held in during the summer.

Betting at Goodwood Racecourse

Goodwood Racecourse offers Tote betting and on-course bookmakers.

Each of the best bookmaking firms will have their own special offers on horse racing bets.

Streaming at Goodwood Racecourse

Most leading bookmakers, such as Betfred, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Bet365 have a live streaming to Goodwood Racecourse, so you can enjoy watching and betting on horse races with many firms.

History of Goodwood Racecourse

Located among the hills of the South Downs in West Sussex, Goodwood Racecourse is among the world’s most scenic sporting venues. Its five-day flagship meeting is universally known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’.

The Goodwood estate was purchased in 1695 by the 1st Duke of Richmond, the illegitimate son of Charles II and Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth. It was his grandson, the 3rd Duke, who introduced racing to Goodwood in 1801. It was intended solely as a private two-day affair for officers of the Sussex Militia, of which he was Colonel. However, the Duke was so pleased with how it went that he laid out a proper racecourse for a three-day meeting under Jockey Club rules the following year.

The inaugural meeting began on 28 April 1802. Among those attending was the Prince of Wales, later King George IV. The Goodwood Cup was run for the first time in 1812 and became the meeting’s most important race. However, it was not until the 5th Duke inherited the estate in 1819 that the course’s development really thrived. The course took on its present configuration in 1829.

In 1952 Goodwood Racecourse installed the first public address system at a British racecourse. Loudspeakers were positioned around the enclosures, enabling the public to hear the race commentaries and other information.

Surprisingly, until as recently as 1964 the four-day (now extended to five days) ‘Glorious’ meeting was Goodwood’s only fixture of the year. It has gradually been extended to incorporate a two-day May meeting, a three-day one in late August, plus various single days including three popular Friday evening meetings in June.

But the ‘Glorious’ meeting in late July/early August remains by far the most important fixture at Goodwood Racecourse. Its highlights include the three Group 1 races, namely the Sussex Stakes, Goodwood Cup, and Nassau Stakes. There are also five Group 2 contests, five Group 3s, and the ultra-competitive Stewards Cup Handicap.

Goodwood Racecourse track and ground type

Located between the towns of Midhurst and Chichester, Goodwood Racecourse is a strange one, comprising a straight with a loop that eventually splits and provides two separate turns into the straight. It’s a difficult course to ride and hard-luck stories are commonplace.

The course is situated on downland turf, which is richer than the meadowland variety and produces a thick, springy mat of grass. Its chalk subsoil ensures it’s free draining and makes for an excellent racing surface.

Goodwood Racecourse characteristics

Goodwood Racecourse is a sharp, undulating, essentially right-hand track with a long, downhill straight run-in. It consists of a straight 6-furlong (1200m) track which has a slight incline at the start but is then all downhill to the winning post. The 5-furlong (1000m) course is among the quickest in the country and races can be lost at the start by horses that are slowly away.

Races over longer distances start with an uphill run but then have the downhill straight to finish.

Goodwood Racecourse has a top bend and a lower bend into the straight, depending on the distance of the race. Races of up to 1m 2f (2000m) enter the straight from the lower bend, whereas longer distance races of 11f (2200m) use the top bend. Both bends have quite sharp turns and the ground on the lower bend runs away from the horses.

The undulations and downhill finish make it better suited to a sharp, well-balanced horse rather than strong galloping types, especially in the shorter races.

It’s a particularly difficult course for horses that need to be ridden from behind. Horses held up on the rail often suffer trouble in running in the straight, encountering traffic problems when trying to manoeuvre out to make their run.

Effect of the draw at Goodwood Racecourse

On 30 March 2011 stall numbering on right-hand courses was switched so that the inside rail is always stall number one.

Stands side runners used to dominate in sprint races but that draw bias has largely been eradicated in recent years. The middle is now the best place to be.

Horses drawn low usually have an advantage in races between 7f and 1m 1f.

Fixtures for Goodwood Racecourse in 2022

Goodwood Racecourse stages 19 days of Flat racing between April and September in 2022.

  • April: 29, 30
  • May: 20, 21
  • Jun: 3, 5, 10, 17
  • Jul: 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
  • Aug: 26, 27, 28
  • Sep: 6, 21
  • Oct: 9

Goodwood Racecourse biggest events and fixtures

The Group 1 Sussex Stakes was restricted to three-year-olds until being opened to four-year-olds in 1960. Horses of five and older were allowed to compete from 1975. It’s now one of the most prestigious one-mile (1600m) races in Europe, boasting huge prize-money of £1 million.

The Goodwood Cup boasts a long history. Among its greatest post-war winners were the Henry Cecil-trained pair Le Moss (1979, 1980) and Ardross (1981). It was reduced in distance from 2m 5f to 2m in 1991. Since then, its illustrious victory roll call includes three-time winner Double Trigger and dual scorers Further Flight, Persian Punch, Yeats and Big Orange.

The third Group 1 race is the Nassau Stakes, for fillies and mares. It was elevated to a Group 1 contest in 1999.

The Group 2 contests at Goodwood Racecourse include the Richmond Stakes and Vintage Stakes, both for two-year-olds; the 7f (1400m) Lennox Stakes, named after the Duke of Lennox, one of the dukedoms held by Goodwood Racecourse’s owner the Duke of Richmond; and the King George Stakes over the lightning-fast downhill 5f (1000m).

Its two biggest handicap races are the Stewards Cup, 6f (1200m), and the Golden Mile (1600m).

All of the above races take place at the ‘Glorious’ meeting in late July/early August.

The Group 2 Celebration Mile is the highlight of Goodwood’s three-day late August fixture.

Recent high-class winners at Goodwood Racecourse

The Group 1 Sussex Stakes often sees the best three-year-old miler take on the top older horse or horses. Top-class winners of the 21st century include Aidan O’Brien’s pair Giant’s Causeway in 2000 and Rock Of Gibraltar in 2002. Frankel, widely considered the greatest racehorse of the modern era, landed back-to-back renewals of the Sussex Stakes in 2011 and 2012. Leading stallion Kingman won the race in 2014.

The Goodwood Cup was upgraded to Group 1 status in 2017 in an attempt to improve the quality of staying horses and to encourage them to remain in training. It was immediately successful, with the outstanding stayer Stradivarius winning it four years running from 2017 to 2020.

Since being promoted to Group 1 level, Nassau Stakes winners have included Ouija Board (2006), triple heroine Midday (2009, 2010, 2011), and the Japanese-trained mare Deirdre (2019).

Recent notable Group 2 winners at Goodwood Racecourse include star sprinter Battaash, who annexed the King George Stakes four years running (2017 to 2020); Toormore, who won the Vintage Stakes in 2013 and the Lennox Stakes in 2015; and Lightning Spear, dual winner (2016, 2017) of the Celebration Mile.

Goodwood Racecourse stages two major handicap races. They both attract big fields and have some interesting statistics.

In the Golden Mile, 14 of the last 16 winners were drawn nine or lower, while 13 of the last 16 runnings saw the first two both drawn in 11 or lower. Sixteen of the last 19 winners had won over at least 1m (1600m) before. Interestingly, despite the course’s undulations, 12 of the last 19 winners had never run at Goodwood before. More surprisingly given the competitive nature of the race, 12 of the last 19 winners were priced at 7-1 or shorter.

The 6f (1200m) Stewards Cup is among the most popular betting races at Goodwood Racecourse. All of the last 18 winners had won over 6f before; 17 had at least three previous wins to their name; and 16 had run at least three times that season. Thirteen of the last 17 winners came from a double-figure draw, including the 2021 winner Commanche Falls, who was drawn 23 of 25.

Leading trainers at Goodwood Racecourse

Trainers with the most winners at Goodwood Racecourse in the last three years are: Mark Johnston (now Charlie & Mark Johnston), Andrew Balding, William Haggas, Ralph Beckett and John Gosden (now John and Thady Gosden).

The five-day ‘Glorious Goodwood’ fixture has long been Mark Johnston’s favourite meeting of the year. He now shares the trainer’s licence with his son Charlie. Their runners are carefully selected with this meeting in mind and are always worth noting.

Also, over the last 10 years, John Quinn had saddled seven winners from 35 runners, giving him a 20% winning average, with a profit of £45.76 to a £1 stake.

Leading jockeys at Goodwood Racecourse

Over the last three years, the most successful jockeys at Goodwood Racecourse have been Oisin Murphy, William Buick, Tom Marquand, Harry Bentley and Jim Crowley.

Oisin Murphy is currently serving a suspension and will not ride at Goodwood in 2022.

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