IT MIGHT be difficult to be cool in the current temperatures, but bosses at Goodwood are certainly calm and collected a fortnight ahead of the festival.
Racecourse MD Adam Waterworth said: “Everything is going well ahead of Glorious Goodwood. We had a really good year in 2012 in spite of fears about an Olympic impact and our ticket sales are ahead this year.
“I am not expecting the Wednesday to be as strong this year because Frankel was such a huge draw in 2012. We may be slightly down that day though we have a new ‘Duel on the Downs’ this year with Dawn Approach taking on Toronado for the third time in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes.
“There are few changes to the race programme this year. This year Neptune Investment Management is supporting the Gordon Stakes, among a number of races leading up to the Ladbrokes St Leger, and the race has moved from the opening day to the Wednesday to provide great support for the QIPCO Sussex Stakes.
“In its place on the Tuesday, we have put the race won by Motivado last year, which often provides the Ebor favourite - the 14-furlong handicap now called the bet365 Summer Handicap and worth £75,000.
“We are keen to build this into the focus handicap on the Tuesday. There is now a mile and half race on the Saturday.
“Hospitality sales and sponsorship are probably stronger than they have ever been this year which is a fantastic position to be in. We are very lucky that Glorious Goodwood happens to be a lot of people’s favourite week of the year. We never take this for granted.”
Seamus Buckley, the clerk of the course, commented: “We’ve been dry for three weeks now and I’m probably the only person in Sussex who would welcome some rain. Our watering campaign began last Monday and is going well. I am where I would want to be with the course at this stage.
“We have no rain forecast until the Thursday before Glorious Goodwood and I would anticipate the meeting will begin with ground on the easy side of good to firm. We are watering through the night, which helps retain moisture, rather than in daytime when the water just evaporates.”
Read about Richard Hannon, Godolphin, Qatar Bloodstock and others’ plans for success at Glorious Goodwood in this week’s (July 19) Observer.
Read Adam Waterworth’s exclusive Diary from the Downs looking ahead to the festival in the Observer next week (July 26) - along with all the other latest lines you’ll need to know about for Glorious week