Reaction from Jon Barnett, Racecourse Director

Jon Barnett, Goodwood Racecourse’s Director, said: “We were delighted to have been the first major racing festival to welcome back full capacity crowds. The atmosphere on course has been fabulous throughout with a real buzz, particularly on Friday and Saturday where crowd levels were as good as we can remember with a sell-out capacity reached in a number of enclosures.

“It was unfortunate Stradivarius didn’t line-up to re-write his own piece of history on Tuesday but seeing leading female jockey Hollie Doyle record her second-ever Group 1 success on the Alan King-trained Trueshan was the highlight on day one in the feature £500,000 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup.

“On Wednesday, French challenger Lady Princess dominated in the Qatar International Stakes, run exclusively for purebred Arabians. The theme of female winners continued when Alcohol Free became one of only a handful of fillies to win the £1 million Qatar Sussex Stakes under Oisin Murphy.

“Thursday, August 29, began with the Magnolia Cup presented by Markel run in support of UK Charity Smart Works, which assists unemployed women to harness their confidence ahead of a job interview. In its 10th year, the race has raised over £1.6 million with the riders of this year’s race having raised over £50,000 already. This year provided a thrilling dead-heat between Thea Gosden-Hood and Candida Crawford, but all ten riders taking part have put in a phenomenal amount of work, and a special mention must go to Rachel Stringer, who has learned to ride for the race.

“Friday saw the legendary sprinter Battaash run his last race before retirement. Glory in four consecutive King George Qatar Stakes make him one of the best horses we have seen in British racing in recent times and his achievements also mark him out as one of the fastest horses we have seen on the South Downs. In 2020, he broke the Goodwood course record over five furlongs, a time unlikely to be beaten for many years to come. 

“The weather largely remained unsettled, but the racing stories and true ‘Glorious Goodwood’ experience shone through. Attendance for the week has reached 2019 levels, which was a fantastic year for us, with sales on food and beverage far higher than we would normally have anticipated as racegoers celebrated a return to the Festival.

“Finally, we must extend our sincere thanks to the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, who have been the headline sponsor for the seventh year. Without their support alongside our other official partners, including Unibet, this would not be possible.

“We now look forward to our August Bank Holiday racing fixture (Friday 27 – Sunday 29 August), which features a Friday Night Takeover from Ibiza legend Carl Cox and fun for all the family across the weekend.”