The Qatar Goodwood Festival – popularly known as 'Glorious Goodwood' – is one of the highlights of the flat-racing season and takes place in little over three weeks, from 31 July - 4 August.

Here is your day-by-day overview of the Goodwood Festival with some of the horses you can expect to the contending the feature races.

 

Tuesday 31st July

The Tuesday highlight is Goodwood’s newest Group 1, the Qatar Goodwood Cup worth £500,000. Stradivarius narrowly denied Big Orange his third straight win in the race in 2017.

The first four home in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot are on course to meet again in the Goodwood Cup. Stradivarius, Vazirabad, Torcedor and Order Of St George are among the entries for this feature race which forms part of the Long Distance category of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Order Of St George is one of seven entries for Aidan O’Brien. His septet also includes the three-year-old Kew Gardens, successful in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.

The Queen could be represented by the William Haggas-trained Call To Mind, winner of  the Grade 2 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Stakes over two miles at Belmont Park on his latest start. Her Majesty has twice enjoyed success in the race, winning it in 1965 and 1966.

 

Wednesday 1st August

The Qatar Sussex Stakes is one of the highlights of the flat racing calendar, with prize money of £1million attracting a top-class field. This mile-long Group 1 race has previously been won by Frankel and the French sensation Solow.

The John Gosden-trained Without Parole is set to take on older horses for the first time in the Sussex Stakes.

The unbeaten Frankel colt made it four wins from four starts with victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes, on his first run in Group 1 company.

David Simcock was satisfied with Lightning Spear’s performance at Royal Ascot despite yet another defeat and he is looking to land a Group One victory in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood- a track at which he has won the Group Two Celebration Mile for the past two seasons.

Dermot Weld has said he has “no regrets” about skipping the Irish 2,000 Guineas with Imaging and the colt is likely to line up next in the Sussex Stakes.

On his last start, Imaging landed the Tetrarch Stakes at Naas and had the subsequent Irish Guineas hero Romanised back in sixth. He is currently a 25/1 chance with us here at 888sport.

 

Thursday 2nd August

Ladies’ Day is the most glamorous day of the meeting and the top racing compliments the ambience of the afternoon. The prestigious Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes is the highlight of the eight-race card, worth £600,000. Previous winners include Ouija Board, Minding and Midday.

Urban Fox gave a three-and-a quarter-length beating to Investec Oaks winner Forever Together in the Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes and now heads to the Nassau Stakes.

Classic winner Billesdon Brook will be stepped up in distance for a crack at the Nassau according to her trainer, Richard Hannon.

The Qipco 1000 Guineas heroine could not repeat her Newmarket heroics in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, although she was far from disgraced in fourth place behind Alpha Centauri.

Beaten Queen Anne favourite Rhododendron has the Nassau Stakes in her sights according to Aidan O’Brien.

Aidan O'Brien's Lockinge winner disappointed when finishing only ninth in the curtain raiser at Royal Ascot and will be stepped up in trip.

 

Friday 3rd August

The sight of a large field hurtling at speeds of over 40mph in a Goodwood sprint makes the £300,000 Group 2 Qatar King George Stakes one of the highlights of the year - taken in 2017 by Battaash.

The Clive Cox-trained three-year-old Heartache will revert back to five furlongs for the first time this season when taking on her elders in the Group 2 King George Stakes.

After a disappointing return in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, she put in a much better display despite failing to see out the six-furlong trip in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Charlie Hills’ Battaash registered an impressive success in the 2017 renewal of the race, scoring by two and a quarter-lengths under Jim Crowley. He ended 2017 as the highest-rated five-furlong performer in the world after a spectacular victory in the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp.

David Griffiths' star veteran Take Cover could become the first three-time winner of the race, following wins in 2014 and 2016.

Griffiths could also saddle 2013 Dash winner Duke Of Firenze who finished sixth in this year's renewal of the five-furlong contest at Epsom.

Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O'Brien has made 10 entries, headed by the King's Stand Stakes sixth and eighth, Different League and Washington DC.

 

Saturday 4th August

The six furlong cavalry charge of the Qatar Stewards’ Cup is a sight to behold, with over 20 sprinters thundering down the Goodwood straight. It is not a contest for the fainthearted punter.

Previous winners of this iconic sprint include Loch Song and Dancing Star and this year the winner will scoop a rather impressive £250,000.

Heading the weights for the six-furlong Stewards' Cup Handicap is Projection who was last seen when fifth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The current ante-post favourite is Dreamfield trained by John Gosden. The Godolphin-owned four-year-old lost his unbeaten record when going down by the narrowest of margins to the 33/1 outsider Bacchus in the six-furlong Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot on June 23rd.

Hoof It, successful in the Stewards' Cup way back in 2011 lines up again as does the Commonwealth Cup third Emblazoned.

 

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

About the Author
By
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.


He writes for a number of websites and online publications and you can sometimes hear him at the weekend discussing racing on a number of local radio stations. 

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