Goodwood festival throws up Epsom and Royal Ascot clues

The last race on day one of the Goodwood May Festival / Picture by Malcolm Wells 150521-1250
The last race on day one of the Goodwood May Festival / Picture by Malcolm Wells 150521-1250

GOODWOOD bosses expect to see the best-performing horses from a successful May Festival re-appear at Epsom and Royal Ascot – and back on the Downs for Glorious.

The winners of a number of the listed races at last week’s three-day extravaganza are already being primed by their trainers for some of the top prizes in flat racing.

Goodwood’s Height of Fashion Stakes winner Lady of Dubai, trained by Luca Cumani, has seen her odds reduced for next week’s Epsom Oaks to 12/1 from 40/1 while Cocked Hat Stakes winner Storm The Stars, from William Haggas’ yard, is seen as a prime contender for the St Leger in September – although may still test himself in Saturday week’s Derby.

The Coriscan, ridden to Festival Stakes success by Sussex’s Jim Crowley, is set to go to Royal Ascot in either the Prince of Wales’s Stakes or the Hardwicke.

And there’s every chance any of them, along with Roger Varian’s Tapster Stakes winner Ayrad, could be back for the Qatar Goodwood Festival at the end of July.

Goodwood racecourse MD Adam Waterworth said more than 25,000 race-goers watched the three days of festival action and he was delighted with the quality of the racing they witnessed.

It’s exactly what the May Festival is all about – some excellent early-season races giving indicators for the big contests ahead.

Adam Waterworth

“It was a very good festival and certainly lived up to expectations,” he said. “There are a lot of horses who ran well here who people will now be looking out for in big races.

“Lady of Dubai looks to have every chance of being placed in the Oaks and you’ve got Storm The Stars, who is looking like a St Leger type but could even come back to Goodwood for the Gordon Stakes.

“Then there was Speedy Boarding of James Fanshawe’s, who won on our first day and is being supplemented for the French Oaks, and Eye of the Storm, third in our Tapster Stakes, who owner George Materna may think about for the Goodwood Cup.

“It’s exactly what the May Festival is all about – some excellent early-season races giving indicators for the big contests ahead. We had three dry days and I think people went away having had their money’s worth.”

Goodwood’s attentions now turn to the first of the Three Friday Nights next week (June 5).

Fundraiser Richard Farquhar was a special guest at the final day of Goodwood’s May Festival and at Fontwell’s family race day 24 hours later.

The stops were the latest two on his marathon effort to walk between every racecourse in the country, and he was given a warm welcome at both.

He arrived at Goodwood having walked 64 miles from Salisbury racecourse on the latest stage of his epic Walking The Courses venture.

Farquhar, 53, is aiming to raise a huge £1.4m for Racing Welfare and Pancreatic Cancer UK by connecting all 60 racecourses in mainland Britain on foot, covering around 3,000 miles.

After getting to Goodwood and Fontwell, Farquhar has now walked more than 600 of the 3,000 miles, about a fifth of the overall journey.

The pilgrimage will reach its climax back at Newmarket Racecourse, from where he set out, in April next year.

He has already raised over £90,000 (£105,000 including pledges).

Farquhar was interviewed in the Goodwood paddock, telling racegoers more about what he is up to.

Seamus Buckley, clerk of the course at Goodwood, said: “It is with great pleasure we welcome Richard to Goodwood. All of us at Goodwood support his wonderful charities.

“I thank him personally for what he is doing as I know only too well from a family point of view what devastating effect can cancer have. These cancer charities do so much for so many people to make life a little better and we should do all we can to eradicate this horrible disease.”

To find out more about Walking The Courses, visit


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