The Pride and the Glory: Glorious Goodwood 2016

Tuesday 26th July - Saturday 30th July

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The Qatar Goodwood Festival - known popularly as Glorious Goodwood - is a sporting and social event with few equals. Each year the British Flat racing establishment along with owners, trainers and jockeys from around the world descend on Chichester to join more than 100,000 guests for 5 days of thoroughbred racing, top-class entertainment, sartorial splendor, exquisite food and fresh air. A splendid time is guaranteed for all (as someone once said) and splendid it will be as elegance, style and the fine art of thoroughbred racing rule the day.

The History

Racing was introduced to Goodwood in 1801 by the third Duke of Richmond. Feeling an obligation to the officers of the Sussex Militia whose annual races at nearby Petworth Park had been discontinued the Duke laid out a course on a portion of the Goodwood Estate known as Harroway. The smashing success of the initial 2-day meeting prompted the Duke to organize a 3-day meeting for the following year. Although circumstances occasionally interrupted a seamless progression from that original 2-day meeting to todays Glorious Goodwood Festival successive Dukes retained their enthusiasm for the event. Their persistence and belief in the Goodwood meeting is the reason we have such a brilliant, and in many ways groundbreaking, festival to enjoy today.

The Racecourse

The Goodwood Racecourse is the home of both the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes, 2 of the UK’s 31 Group 1 flat races. The course itself is both stunning and challenging with a 6 furlong straight and a long, right-handed loop that comes into play on longer courses. The proximity of Chichester to the coast means that fog is a frequent visitor adding more than a bit of old world atmosphere to the landscape; an impression reinforced by the presence of Trundle Iron Age hill fort which overlooks the site.

The Festival

The Glorious Goodwood festival this year will run from July 28 through August 1. Some of the world’s finest thoroughbreds will be competing in some of the world’s most prestigious and historic horse racing events including the Nassau Stakes and The Stewards Cup (both established in 1840) and the Sussex Stakes (first held in 1841, more than 3 decades before the inaugural running of the Kentucky Derby).

Highlights of the Qatar Goodwood Festival Include:

  • Tuesday 26 July: Celebration of past winners and the unveiling of the one-of-a-kind cups to be awarded to the victors of this year’s races. Tuesday features the running of the Group 2 Qatar Lennox Stakes with a purse of £300,000.
  • Wednesday 27 July: Day 2 and festivities shift into high gear with the running of the Qatar Sussex Stakes, a Group 1 race with a rich and storied history, £1 million in prize money and a world-class field. You’ll want to have your horse racing tips well in hand before entering the enclosure and approaching the bookmakers on Wednesday.
  • Thursday 28 July: Day 3 is Ladies Day; without a doubt one of the most glamorous days on the Goodwood social calendar. Day 3 is also highlighted by the running of the Qatar Goodwood Cup as well as the 6th running of the ladies’ celebrity Magnolia Cup. The Magnolia cup has raised more than £1 million in its 5 years of existence for worthy causes right across the UK and each year its popularity and influence grow.
  • Friday 29 July: Friday is a day not to be missed and features the £300,000 Group 2 Qatar King George Stakes among a lineup of 4 top-quality group races. It’s a full day of racing set amidst the splendour of the English countryside. But that’s not all as the thunder on the track will be matched by intense joy off the track as one lucky lady is awarded the festival’s “Best Dressed”.
  • Saturday 30 July: Glorious Goodwood lives up to its name on Saturday with the running of the Qatar Nassau Stakes; one of the premier Group 1 races in the UK for fillies and mares with a £600,000 purse. Hold firm along the rail or cheer from your seat as the sound of hoofs reverberates off the grandstand when the cavalry charge of hopefuls come rumbling down the Goodwood straight during the Qatar Stewards Cup.

A Word About the Magnolia Cup

The Magnolia Cup - the high point of Ladies Day at Glorious Goodwood - is unique in the world of charitable events. Each year supermodels, business luminaries, actresses, TV celebrities and world class designers come together to demonstrate their mastery of all aspects of equine competition from designing silks to riding top thoroughbreds. The Magnolia Cup is quickly becoming one of the most respected, enjoyable and it must be said, successful, charity events on the social calendar. Make sure to be at Goodwood Racecourse on July 28th to partake of the fun and excitement and to do your part for a variety of worthy causes.

Don’t Miss It

Glorious Goodwood is the quintessential English country event: relaxed, sophisticated, multifaceted and impeccably executed. Some will come for the racing, some for the Panamas and floral prints, some will come for the setting and others for the sumptuous culinary creations yet all will leave with warm smiles and memories to last a lifetime.

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