Goodwood bosses declared themselves delighted with the double-header that kicked off their busy June programme.
Two crowds of 8,000 plus inside 48 hours made it a busy weekend on the Downs as some fine racing was complemented by a wide range of off-track entertainment.
Friday night’s racing was followed by a superb DJ set by Sister Bliss , while Sunday’s card was backed by family fun which gave race-goers the chance to see behind the Goodwood scenes and also saw £60,000 raised for the NSPCC.
Racecourse manager Alex Eade said: “It was a hectic few days but we were delighted at how both fixtures went.
“We ended up with a good-sized crowd on Friday who were able to enjoy some excellent racing and a storming set by Sister Bliss.
“Sunday had a totally different feel to it. The weather couldn’t have been better it brought people out in their thousands to see the weighing room, walk the course and find out all about how a race meeting works.
I think the two events show we can offer something for everyone – and now we look forward to two more Friday nights which promise to be every bit as good.Alex Eade
“I think the two events show we can offer something for everyone – and now we look forward to two more Friday nights which promise to be every bit as good.”
On Friday, William Buick and Charlie Appleby were out of luck in the Oaks at Epsom as Skiffle –who’d won Goodwood’s Height of Fashion Stakes a fortnight earlier – finished fifth in the big race.
But they were back in business on the Downs hours later as they teamed up for a Godolphin double.
Buick – who had four winners on one day at Goodwood’s May Festival – guided the two-year-old Boynton home in the six-furlong Breeders Backing Racing EBF Novice Stakes, just edging out Pat Dobbs on Mutawatheb.
And he ended the night by completing a double, and it was another win for Godolphin and Appleby as 11/4 starter Manaboo took the Sister Bliss Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
Buick shared Friday’s limelight with another famous racing name - Nicholls. Not champion jumps trainer Paul, but his daughter Megan, now an apprentice rider, who battled brilliantly to guide the Charlie Mann runner Sureness (11/2) first over the line in the Russian Original Standard Stakes.
Other winners were Serena Brotherton on the Sylvester Kirk-trained 11/2 shot Pink Ribbon, Kachess (5/2) under Richard Kingscote for trainer Tom Dascombe, and David Probert on 5/2 contender Dancing Star for Andrew Balding.
Sunday’s sun-drenched fixture hit new heights as more than 8,200 racegoers flocked to the course – up 36 per cent from last year.
Race sponsorship, two auctions and collections from racegoers saw the day’s partner, the NSPCC, raise more than £60,000.
Clerk of the course Seamus Buckley was delighted with the number of people who got there early to see behind the scenes and said: “I have never known so many people out on the course for my talk.
“I think people are really interested in how the course is run. Children enjoyed the wonderful blacksmith’s demonstration and the tour of the weighing room, where they could feel the weights that the horses carry and get on to the scales.”
There were also free fairground rides, the chance meet a racehorse and ride a mechanical horse.
Godolphin and Buick continued their superb form at the track when Galizzi won the two-mile feature race and Arnold Lane produced a fine front-running performance to win the Class 3 seven-furlong handicap under Silvester De Sousa – half of a double for the jockey and former Goodwood champion trainer Mick Channon.
Their other success, with 5/2 shot Bobby’s Boots, was tipped on the Observer website.
Jockeys and trainers congratulated the dedicated groundstaff, who had worked through Friday night and Saturday to fix a burst water pipe.
Tonight (Friday 10th), a six-race card begins at 6.10pm and is followed by a set from Radio 1 DJ MistaJam. Tickets are still available from www.goodwood.com or 01243 755055.
Tips: 6.10 Fastar, 6.45 Easy Tiger, 7.20 Celebration Day, 7.50 Second Serve, 8.25 Equal Point, 9.00 Nisser.
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