DJs declared a big hit - now Goodwood looks forward to Glorious

Crowds gather at Goodwood Racecourse to see Mark Ronson performing
Crowds gather at Goodwood Racecourse to see Mark Ronson performing

GOODWOOD racecourse can take a brief breather after a highly-successful series of DJ-and-racing nights – then it’s time for Glorious.

Around 11,000 people ignored steady rain to enjoy the final Friday night in the series, which ended with a stunning set by internationally-renowned DJ Mark Ronson.

And a staggering 40 per cent of those who bought tickets were people who had not been racing at Goodwood before.

It was the largest crowd of the three nights, although the first two – featuring Boy George and Chris Evans – were also very well-attended.

And the figures suggest staff have succeeded in their aim of attracting a whole new audience to Goodwood through the DJs venture, which now seems likely to be repeated next year.

Bradley Eccleshare, marketing manager at the racecourse, said: “Goodwood are delighted with the success of our first trio of Three Friday Nights.

“Music and dancing after racing has proved to be a winning formula, attracting not only keen racegoers but also a younger audience. Despite the weather the atmosphere was electric.”

Now that attention is turning to Glorious Goodwood, race-goers will be waiting to see what post-racing entertainment will be laid on during the festival.

It’s less than five weeks until Glorious kicks off and that will give the winner’s enclosure and parade ring, which were transformed into a dance floor for the three DJ sets, plenty of time to recover.

It also gives clerk of the course Seamus Buckley and his team of groundstaff time to get the track itself in pristine condition.

Glorious will begin with Richard Hughes the jockey to beat after he rode his tenth Goodwood of the season during last Friday’s rain-hit six-race card.

Although the rain stopped in time for Ronson’s appearance, it was steady throughout racing, leaving the going soft and causing a high number of non-runners.

Hughes was among a number of riders unable to make scheduled appearances early in the card because low cloud had prevented them flying into Goodwood from Royal Ascot.

But Hughes for one made up for lost time later in the evening, guiding the 6/5 Hughie Morrison-trained favourite Valencha home in the Hardware Associates Fillies’ Stakes, then finishing strongly to come in second on 8/1 contender Aristeia in the Goodwood Farm Shop Stakes, won by Shane Kelly on the Walter Swinburn-trained 13/2 contender Da Ponte.

Hughes is four wins ahead of nearest rival Ted Durcan in his bid to be Goodwood’s too jockey again this year.

The programme kicked off with jockey Adam Kirby and trainer Clive Cox teaming up for a back-to-back double. Kirby guided My Solitaire (11/8) to victory in the Tanqueray Maiden Auction Stakes and followed up with another win on Pandorica (8/1) in the Wave FM Stakes, both for Berkshire-based handler Cox.

William Buick further enhanced his growing reputation with a strong ride on the 2/7 favourite Rainbow Springs to take the Goodwood Hotel Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Stand-in rider Liam Keniry was in the winner’s enclosure after riding Chiberta King home first in the Capital FM Stakes for trainer Andrew Balding.