Kieren Fallon, Richard Hannon and Sir Michael Stoute hit the front in the race to be Goodwood’s top jockey and trainer for the season - while a sellout crowd hit the dancefloor to enjoy a storming set by Rudimental.
Fallon notched a back-to-back double while Hannon and Stoute each secured their fourth wins of the season on the Downs as thousands took advantage of perfect conditions for the evening of entertainment.
It was the first time one of Goodwood’s racing and DJ nights - an event now in its third year - had sold out in advance, and those who’d booked tickets must have been glad they had as they lapped up some exciting racing and then stayed on to watch the London chart-toppers take centre stage.
Rudimental didn’t disappoint, delivering a 90-minute set in which they had the masses eating out of their hand.
The winner’s enclosure and parade ring were transformed into a giant dance floor inside half an hour after the final race and thousands ran on to it as soon as the stewards let them through, in time for Rudimental to take over. They immediately had the crowd going mad.
It was a huge success for Goodwood - what a contrast to the first in last year’s Friday night series when Andy Cato of Groove Armada never got started as a power cut blacked out the area.
There’s another two DJ nights to come this year with Cato coming back on June 14 and Radio 1’s Trevor Nelson in town on June 21.
Earlier, on the track, the opener was a chance for apprentice jockeys to show the Goodwood crowd what they can do, and the sort of race that often seems to throw up a course-debut victory.
So it proved this time as the Gordon’s Amateur Riders’ Stakes was won by James Harding, riding the 4/1 favourite Balmoral Castle, trained by Jonathan Portman.
Harding, who held off a strong challenge from the Tony Carroll-trained Time Square to win by half a length, said afterwards he remembered coming to Goodwood as a boy with his parents but this was his first time at the track in the saddle.
He was modest about his victory which saw him prevail from a terrible draw in stall 16 and said: “He’s a super little horse and he took me there. I was the first time I’d been on him.”
There was a more familiar figure first past the post in the Levy Restaurants Classified Stakes as Luke Morris rode a commanding race to take it on 20/1 shot Kuantan One, trained by Paul Cole, holding off Arbaah (4/1) and Paul Hanagan.
Richard Hughes had ridden a 20/1 winner at Epsom at 4pm - in no less a race than the Oaks, on Ralph Beckett’s Talent - but by 7pm he was at Goodwood and lining up in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes on board the favourite, Hannon-trained Downturn.
But there was no repeat of his Epsom success as another Hannon runner, Wahaab, the 8/15 favourite, justified the short price and was steered to a comfortable win by Hanagan. William Buick was second on 7/1 chance Jazz with Downturn (4/1) third.
It was Hannon’s fourth win of the season at Goodwood, putting him one clear of Stoute and Amanda Perrett in his bid to retain the Dick Hern Trophy that he won four years in a row from 2008.
Hannon’s not the only man in good early-season form on the Downs - Fallon is too and he added to his opening-day treble on the Downs with a 14/1 triumph on Links Drive Lady for handler Dean Ivory. The five-year-old is owned by the aptly-named syndicate It’s Your Lucky Day.
Dane O’Neill and 12/1 contender Picabo were three-quarters of a length back in second.
Fallon repeated the feat in the next, the Rudimental Stakes handicap, on the 13/8 favourite Stock Hill Fair, trained in Hampshire by Brendan Powell, with a three-and-a-quarter length win ahead of Pat Cosgrave on Paloma’s Prince, who went off at 11/2. That took Fallon’s Goodwood total for 2013 to five.
Trainer Stoute had the last say of the night on the track, though, as Ryan Moore partnered Integral (4/1) to a powerful success in the Yacht Week Maiden Fillies Stakes. Tom Queally was next in on Magic of Reality for Sir Henry Cecil.
See the Observer on Thursday for coverage from the racing and Rudimental set and all the other news from Goodwood and Fontwell Park