Goodwood’s series of Friday-night mixes of racing and music came to a stunning end as another sell-out crowd enjoyed warm sunshine, some enthralling racing and an apperance by MTV and Radio 1’s Zane Lowe.
The weather could not have been better as thousands flocked to the Downs for an entertaining summer’s evening of action.
Lowe’s set brought down the curtain on the fourth year of the Three Friday Nights and the most successful yet. All three events sold out and the sun shone for each one.
On the track, there was a lovely bit of local success to lift the crowd in the TFN Stakes as Chevise - trained by Lavant-based Steve Woodman - took a photo finish from Pettochside and Pat Dobbs.
Chevise went off at 10/1, having won eight races on the all-weather but none on turf - but put that record straight with a thrilling victory to the delight of her owners the Chevise Partnership.
Further good news for the Sussex racing scene came as Amanda Perrett’s Lion Beacon took advantage of a below-par run by clear favourite Debdebdeb to take the Mazda Jinba Ittai Stakes, the feature race of the night.
The four-year-old, with Seb Sanders on board, was a one-and-three-quarter length winner over Stand Alone and Richard Hughes - who’d sped to Goodwood from day four of Royal Ascot in search of his sixth winner of 2014 on the Downs.
The opener, the Zane Lowe Apprentice Stakes, went to the only rider in the race who had succeeded at the track before - Ryan Tate.
The youngster guided home Golden Journey, the Clive Cox-trained 7/1 contender, after holding off a strong challenge from Cam Hardie on Richard Hannon’s Hedge End.
Afterwards Tate said he’d been fortunate a number of Goodwood triumphs in his fledging career, adding modestly: “I’ve been lucky to be on the right horses. They’ve won despite me.”
There was another close and rousing finish in the Glorious Goodwood Maiden Fillies’ Stakes as Martin Lane took the honours on Tearless in the familiar colours of Godolphin. Charlie Appleby’s runner went off at 12/1 and steadily made up ground to overtake long-time leader Almashooqa (Dane O’Neill) to win by a length and a quarter.
Michael Murphy guided Alice’s Dancer (9/2) to the win the Three Friday Nights Fillies’ Stakes for Lambourn handler William Muir, holding off Temptress by a length and a half.
The last , the Goodwood Farm Shop Stakes, went to Don’t Have It Then, a 7/2 contender ridden by Chris Catlin for Willie Musson.
Then it was on to the music and MTV legend and Radio One superstar Lowe - regarded as one of the most entertaining personalities in music broadcasting today - took to the stage.
The operations team did their usual speedy job of laying the dancefloor across the winner’s enclosure and parade ring and then Lowe arrived to a great ovation - although made the crowd wait for the start of the set, saying he couldn’t start until the final horse was well out of the way, probably the first and last time he’ll have to wait for that reason to begin a gig.
It was a storming set from Lowe, who had the crowd eating out of his hand from the first track. The music was accompained by a light and laser show, which looked fabulous as the sun set on the Downs.
From being asked by the likes of The Prodigy, Deadmaus, Skrillex and Pendulum to open their biggest gigs for them, to playing festival sets worldwide to rapturous receptions, Lowe’s ever growing popularity has seen him sell-out his own 20-date DJ tour and has gained plaudits from Mixmag for his sizzling sets in Ibiza. You could see why here.
It was an upbeat end to a memorable Friday night series which had also included appearances from Chase and Status and Naughty Boy - the latter introducing Emeli Sande as a special guest singer.
See coverage from the final Friday night in the Observer, out on Thursday.