The familiar figures of Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes loomed large as Goodwood’s series of three Friday racing and DJ nights began on the windswept Downs.
Hannon stretched his lead at the top of the course’s 2012 trainers’ honours board while Hughes took the lead in the jockey chart as the duo recorded their latest Goodwood victories.
The first race of a windy night at a well-populated course, the Bibendum Amateur Riders’ Stakes, brought a first-ever race victory after a series of seconds for young Amy Murphy, who held off Edward Sibbick’s challenge on Potentiale to seal a thrilling victory on Moody Tunes (7/1).
Hughes, so often the man to beat at Goodwood, gained his third win of the season at the track on Roberto Pegasus, the Pat Phelan-trained 5/2 favourite, in the Gordon Stakes Handicap, with Sussex rider Jim Crowley next home with Luggers Hall.
Hughes said afterwards conditions were very testing with strong winds giving riders a different sort of Goodwood test.
Epsom-based trainer Phelan was able to celebrate a notable double - another of his string, Dellbuoy, had enjoyed a 10/1 at Newmarket earlier in the day.
Phelan said: “It doesn’t get much better than winning at Newmarket then coming on here to Goodwood for another winner.”
Hughes completed a quickfire double with a commanding ride in the Fair Trade Practice EBF Maiden Stakes on the Hannon-trained Olympic Glory (6/4 favourite), a fitting winner with the Games only weeks ago.
And Hughes revealed the Goodwood crowd might well see him again during Glorious, when the Olympics will be in full flow and he is bound to be well-supported just because of his name, let alone his form.
Hughes compared the two-year-old to Chandlery, another Hannon horse who won this race last year before coming back to the Downs and impressing at Glorious after finding Royal Ascot too much.
“He’s a big strong horse but a little bit raw,” said Hughes.
“He’s in the top bracket of our two-year-olds, without a doubt. He’s not a type for Royal Ascot, he’s not mentally ready. But he could be right for the Champagne (Vintage) Stakes.”
Hannon and Hughes didn’t have too much joy in the next two, though.
Their contender in the Crimbourne Stud Stakes, Humungosaur, was out of the places as Andrea Atzeni carried Spanish Wedding to an unexpected 9/1 triumph for Marco Botti, ahead of Sussex-trained Hidden Justice (8/1), who was second under Jim Crowley for Amanda Perrett.
The duo did manage a third in the Class 3 British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing EBF Fillies’ Stakes, but the honours went to in-form Hayley Turner on 7/2 shot Hallelujah. It was a second win at Goodwood in 16 days for Turner teaming up with trainer James Fanshawe.
As darkness closed in, Crowley and Perrett teamed up to improve on their earlier place as Selfsame snatched the Capital FM Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
After racing the parade ring and winners’ enclosure were being turned into a dance floor in time for Groove Armada’s Andy Cato to get the crowd dancing into the night - only for a power cut to force the set to be abandoned (see separate story).
Next up at Goodwood, Dermot O’Leary takes centre stage for next Friday’s second racing-and-DJ evenings.
See coverage of tonight’s action in the Observer next Thursday.