ADAM WATERWORTH says the team at Goodwood are more than ready for Glorious to get under way.
The new racecourse managing director says everything is set for a week’s racing that will live long in the memory of all those who witness it.
After months of planning and preparation, Glorious kicks off next Tuesday.
Around 100,000 people will watch the action unfold on the Downs in what could be one of the strongest race programmes for years.
The line-ups for top races such as the QIPCO Sussex Stakes and the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes look unbeatable – to the point where they have deflected attention from strong entry lists for many of the other contests.
Clerk of the course Seamus Buckley revealed yesterday there were a record 208 entries at this stage for day one – which is likely to mean more than 100 runners across the seven races.
In addition, work to spruce up the racecourse and introduce new facilities for racegoers – the chief project being a new permanent bar and temporary restaurant in the Gordon Enclosure – is all on course to be complete by the time the first race-goers file through the gates on Tuesday.
And fittingly, ticket sales for each of the five days are up on the same stage last year.
It’s Waterworth’s first Glorious week as managing director, although he had arrived at the venue to work alongside outgoing MD Rod Fabricius in time for last year’s. He said: “It’s a fabulous place to be at the moment. there’s a brilliant buzz around the racecourse as we get nearer to the first day.
“Things look great and we’re well set.
“The building work is on schedule. I think the new Gordon Enclosure bar will be the most popular spot on the racecourse. We’re delighted with ticket sales. We’re ahead of where we were at the same point last year, which is very positive.
“We think the Gordon Enclosure will be a sell-out on the Saturday.
“Wednesday is also proving very popular because of the big build-up the QIPCO Sussex Stakes is rightly getting.
“But if anything, the focus on that race is doing a disservice to what is a superb line-up for the Nassau Stakes, another Group One race, on the Saturday.
“There’s not a filly you’d want to see in that race who is not involved.”
Waterworth will be interested to see the public reaction to a new feature, which will see bars stay open and bands play on for up to two hours after the last race has been run.
“We want to give race-goers a reason to stay here for longer.
“It will dilute the rush to the car parks and will give people the chance to make it even more of a day out.”
A swing band on the Richmond Lawn and rock’n’roll music in the Gordon Enclosure will add to the usual Irish sounds eminating from the Lennox Enclosure, all playing on well after the end of racing.
And Waterworth believes new attractions will all help make the week a success.
These include Tuesday’s post-racing Lord’s Taverners’ cricket match on the pitch opposite Goodwood House featuring the likes of Mike Gatting and Christopher Martin-Jenkins, free to watch for race-goers; Wednesday’s reinstated Race Week Ball at the House, and Thursday’s Celebrity Ladies’ Race in which famous faces from the worlds of fashion, TV and sport will compete.
To book tickets for Glorious, visit www.goodwood.co.uk/horse-racing or call 01243 755055.