GOODWOOD racecourse boss Adam Waterworth says ticket sales for their Three Friday Nights have been ‘unbelievable’ – and he is confident interest in Glorious Goodwood will take off in the same way.
There’s still just over three weeks to go until the course holds its first meeting of the new flat season, on Saturday, May 3.
Racecourse MD Waterworth previewed the first month’s programme in his Diary From The Downs column last week but said staff were already well advanced with planning the rest of the season.
Where June and July are concerned, that means the Three Friday Nights and a new charity raceday – all in June – and the five-day Glorious festival, starting on Tuesday, July 29.
The Three Friday Nights line-up can be seen in the advert on the left and Goodwood are finding it beneficial to name the acts earlier in the year.
“Sales for Three Friday Nights have been unbelievable,” he said.
“For Chase and Status on June 6, the Richmond Enclosure sold out in two weeks, which was phenomenal.
“Last year, all three sold out quite late on but this year I think we’re heading for three earlier sell-outs.
“Sales for all three are significantly ahead of where they were at this time last year.
“What tends to happen is they sell out in order – that is, the opening night will sell out first, then the second one.
“But this year’s second and third nights are even ahead of where the opener was at this stage in 2013.”
Waterworth said they were working to put in place a strong programme of racing on each of the Friday nights.
On Sunday, June 8, a new fixture comes to Goodwood.
It will see a day of fundraising for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund in the organisation’s 40th year.
There’ll be a ‘Sunday school’ theme with families and youngsters urged to look behind the scenes before racing.
“We’ll open the gates earlier and hope to see loads of families coming in – they’ll be able to visit the weighing room, the jockeys’ changing room and other areas normally off-limits.
“There will be farrier demonstrations and people explaining just how horse-racing works. We will also run fun-fair rides and sports coaching, and be interviewing ex-jockeys in the parade ring.”
Before anyone knows it, Glorious Goodwood – the undoubted highlight of the season – will be here.
Waterworth said there were no major changes to the programme, with the Lennox Stakes on Tuesday, Sussex Stakes on Wednesday, Ladies’ Day and the Goodwood Cup on Thursday, the King George Stakes on Friday and the Nassau and Stewards’ Cup on Saturday.
Waterworth said: “Ticket sales for the festival are also going really well, ahead of last year.
“I’m hoping we’ll see Toronado come back and defend his Sussex Stakes crown.
“Everyone will be watching to see if the Hannon yard will reign here again now Richard senior has handed over to his son.
“You can be fairly sure they’ll have plenty of runners and Richard Hughes will have success here for them.
“We’ve moved around a few of the handicaps during the festival but there’s no need to make major changes – it works as it is.”