Goodwood bosses reflect on season that saw crowds come back

Ed Arkell hailed an upbeat end to a season in which Goodwood bosses have been delighted – and relieved – to welcome back racegoers.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:07 pm
A large crowd watched the season finale action at Goodwood / Picture: Clive Bennett

Ed Arkell hailed an upbeat end to a season in which Goodwood bosses have been delighted – and relieved – to welcome back racegoers.

A large crowd took in Sunday’s season finale on a lovely autumnal afternoon and were treated to some thrilling racing, not least a close contest between champion jockey contenders William Buick and Oisin Murphy.

Arkell, clerk of the course at Goodwood, said: “It was a lovely end to the season and a fitting one too as we look back at all the fantastic racing we have staged in 2021.

“I think it was a season of two halves – the before-crowds half and with-crowds half. We started without crowds, but as the season went on, we welcomed back first some smaller numbers then full crowds for festival week. And I think in that respect it has gone very well.”

Goodwood staged its full compliment of 19 fixtures and only the first few were run behind closed doors or in front of very limited numbers.

Close to 100,000 race-goers attended the five days of the Qatar-sponsored Glorious week while the three-day August bank holiday meeting was also a big success.

Arkell said his highlights of Goodwood’s year included Lady Bowthorpe winning the Nassau Stakes at Ladies' Day, David Menuisier’s win with Wonderful Tonight in the Lillie Langtry Stakes and Amanda Perrett’s with Lavender Blue in the Celebration Mile.

Goodwood bosses will start planning for the 2022 right away, with a strong focus on attracting more overseas runners to the South Downs.