Goodwood is a horse racing venue that is located about 5 miles west of Chichester in West Sussex – England. Indisputably one of the very best equestrian sporting facilities in Britain and the world at large, the venue is managed by the Duke of Richmond and his family. With the famous Duke headquartered in a nearby Goodwood House, members of the royal family are well-known to both fans and racegoers. The key role played by the Duke in the administration of the racecourse has given the racing arena a coveted place in the annals of English horse racing.
Goodwood Racecourse is often given preferential treatment by nationwide event organisers and officials due to the fundamental services available at the sporting centre. As one of the very few racing facilities handled by a noble member of the British Royalty, the racecourse enjoys a prestigious standing that very few similar sites can rival. Its state-of-the-art facilities are simply the envy of most other racecourses in the United Kingdom. It is always a top favourite with leading sports journalists worldwide while its social and recreational departments attract diverse classes of punters from all over the globe.
Goodwood Racecourse holds the yearly Glorious Goodwood gathering which is one of the central highlights of the British flat racing calendar. The annual meetings at Goodwood usually draw the attention of both local and international sport news bulletins. Most notably, the Duke of Richmond graces the once-in-a-year assemblies, giving the occasion and the racecourse a great deal of worldwide significance. Sponsors from across the sectors usually target these yearly gatherings in their keen pursuit of the prized advertising deals provided by the trailblazing racing amenity.
Further, the widely recognised site also hosts two of the universally popular UK’s 31 Group One flat racing events. During these key sporting events, the racecourse’s crowd capacity gets badly overwhelmed that some fans go without sitting places. The two much-publicized UK 31 events that Goodwood hosts are the Nassau Stakes and the Sussex Stakes – essential competitions that are normally televised across the world. Television screens are all tuned into the Goodwood field during these notably universal events, and advertisers cash in on the rare opportunity the twin occasions provide.
Goodwood Racecourse enjoys a considerably well-suited location in the hugely attractive area north of the Trundle Iron Age hill fort. The prime location has therefore contributed to the huge patronage that the facility enjoys during prominent events and also on normal days. The fairly raised ground is usually used as an alternative Grandstand on racing days. Fans that are familiar with the Chichester facility often prefer the informal grandstand to the official one because the former offers an uninterrupted view of the entire racecourse a safe distance from the smothering crowds.
Despite its good location, the racecourse’s proximity to the nearby coast means that it is foggy most of the times. As a result of the sometimes inclement weather at Goodwood, certain high-attendance have severally been undertaken at other less endowed horse riding facilities in the United Kingdom. However, the prime racing facility enjoys friendly weather conditions most of the time. As such, Good Racecourse is hardly shunned by patrons, racers, or trainers exempting the very few relatively short spells characterised by unwelcoming weather.
Unlike other racecourses that invariably resemble each other in several profound respects, Goodwood Racecourse is a sharp departure from this familiar trend. As such, Goodwood’s expertly laid out tracks and courses have a number of unconventional physical aspects that set them apart from those of other well-known horse riding spots in the United Kingdom. For instance, the racing tracks have straight six furlongs, often known as the "Stewards' Cup Course"- which is uniquely hilly for the first furlong but mostly downhill to the very end.
Yet again, there is a tight-handed loop found at the near end of the straight, where the various other long-distance field events start. These long-distance events start-points include the 1 mile 2 furlongs (1m 2f) "Craven Course", the 1m 4f "Gratwicke Course" and the 1m 6f "Bentinck Course. This course is only used for flat races only. Despite these physical peculiarities, Goodwood is still one of the well-rated racing centres by leading racers and ward-winging track champions.
Goodwood Racecourse enjoyed unprecedented media attention when its late summer meetings were broadcast live on ITV between 1968 and 1970. The routine racing assemblies attracted big names in the racing fraternity as well as other celebrated personages outside the horse sporting world. From the early 2000s, some of the essential horse riding events on the grounds occasionally appeared on Channel 4.
Nevertheless, BBC’s far outweighed any other journalistic attention showered on the well-known racing arena. Covering the grounds with an exclusive deal that discouraged broadcast by any other television station, the global media behemoth served the facility without any rival competition from 1956 to 2006.
After the 50 years of nearly uninterrupted coverage of the Goodwood’s interesting racing events, BBC was denied this lucrative deal and instead was given to Chanel 4. This widely discussed move was most likely motivated by a fresh desire to meet the ever-changing racing needs of viewers and fans, as well as a host of other intricate contractual technicalities. Channel 4 has steadily maintained its coverage of Goodwood’s key occasions since 2006 – a helpfully symbiotic deal which has extensively marketed the media channel and the facility promotes.
In the last 18th century, Goodwood made history as the very first British racing site to adopt the flag start. These changes were implemented at the request of Lord George Bentinck after much grievous inefficiency that had been witnessed previously. For instance, a shambolic event start that was superintended by an elder starter with speech difficulties badly affected a well-regarded champion of those days named Sam Arnul.
The historical Goodwood event start changes ensured that all the racing competitions were fairly officiated regardless of any possible inefficiency involving either the participating racers or the officiating starters. With this widely lauded ratification, Goodwood Racecourse cut itself a name as the preferred racing ground for every horse rider of distinguished taste. Fan following also intensified upon the implementation of the field amendment that was deservedly granted at Lord Bentinck’s historical behest.
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Contact details: The Goodwood Estate Company Limited, Goodwood House, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OPX