There are few better places to be during the summer in the UK than West Sussex. Indeed, by the time late July comes around, the Atlantic storms that unsettle the south of England usually become but a distant memory as summer arrives. It really is heaven on earth, particularly if you enjoy horse racing. And despite that you’re reading this on a competitor racecourse site, we have nothing to fear from Goodwood; all the racecourses in this country have a unique atmosphere, and exploring every one is a rite of passage for most ardent racegoers.
That’s because horse racing enthusiasts from around the country flock down to Chichester at the end of July for the newly named Qatar Goodwood Festival, historically known as Glorious Goodwood.
For many Goodwood casuals, the choice of who to bet on could come down to a horse’s name that has a certain ring to it or even a wild punt on a horse with the longest odds. It’s all part of the good-natured tradition of the week-long festival. With that being said, there are certain races at Goodwood that bring out the horse race betting experts. Avid Jumps fans will have kept a close eye on Trueshan, trained by Alan King, a short-priced favourite in the Goodwood betting odds to win the Goodwood Cup on the withdrawal of Stradivarius. Other seasoned supporters and knowledgeable punters will have been keeping their eyes on Poetic Flare, who was the pre-race favourite in the Sussex Stakes betting odds to win one of the events that attracts the most coverage over the course of the festival. Needless to say, Poetic Flare was a keen pre-race favourite partially due to Palace Pier pulling out because of unsatisfactory blood results.
It’s already turning out to be a week of heart-stopping entertainment on the breathtaking Sussex Downs, but even if some racegoers aren’t all that keen on what happens on the course, there’s little need to worry given that this festival offers patrons a unique experience that can’t be matched elsewhere.
Of course, any major horse racing festival worth its salt from around the world attracts the most stylish people, but Goodwood’s offer of a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South Africa for the best-dressed ladies guarantees a colourful day out. Indeed, on Friday July 30th, racegoers will compete to win the L’Ormarins Best Dressed 2021 award by wearing the signature blue and white colours of L’Ormarins. Whoever ends up winning can look forward to some magnificent winter sun with a trip to the rainbow nation scheduled for January 2022.
From fashionistas to those with a passion for all things culinary, Goodwood racegoers can also enjoy dining in the botanical bliss of the course’s revered Secret Garden. For those looking for a more relaxed setup, the Sussex Roof Garden offers incredible vistas of the track and a chance to admire the beauty of the stunning hills of the county.
One can certainly understand why they refer to this festival as glorious given that for a week over July every year, there probably isn’t a better place to be in the world if you enjoy the finer things in life.
However much of a Stratford fan you might be, a day at Glorious Goodwood takes some beating.