Glorious Goodwood Festival Betting Guide

With five days of top class racing action, Glorious Goodwood is one of the best flat meetings of the season with no less than thirteen group races on the agenda. With this being such an important event, we’ve compiled all the key information you’ll need to maximise your week.


Racing was introduced to Goodwood by the Third Duke of Richmond, who felt duty bound to provide racing to the officers of the Sussex Militia after the Earl of Egremont did not renew the invitation to hold the racing at Petworth Park. The racing at Goodwood steadily grew in popularity into what it is today from that point way back in 1801, with the Goodwood Cup first being run over the three mile trip back in 1812. The meeting switched to its traditional slot of Late July/Early August in 1814, which significantly raised its social status. 103,457 racegoers attended the Festival in 2015 and it continues to be one of the most popular destinations for racing fans.

General Information

Frankie Dettori is quoted as saying Goodwood Racecourse is the ‘most picturesque course in the world’ and it’s very hard to argue with that fact. Located in the south of England in West Sussex, the grandstand gives a fantastic view of the entire course, though there can be a problem with dense fog as the track is so close to the south-coast. It boasts a very modern and up to date feel, with plenty of places to get food and drink. There is very easy access to the parade ring with has a stepped viewing, with ticket prices starting from £23 in the Lennox Enclosure and £49 for the Gordon Enclosure.

Big Races

With three Group 1 races in store, it’s hard to know just where to start, but most peoples eyes will be on the Goodwood Cup which takes place on Tuesday. Big Orange has won the race for the past two years and will be looking to make history as he bids to become the first horse to win the race three times, back to back. The only horse to win the race three times is Double Trigger, but there was a gap between his first and second victories.

The second Group 1 of the meeting is the Sussex Stakes, often referred to as the ‘Duel on the Downs’ as it has played host to some top class shoot-outs in the past including Kingman, Toronado, Canford Cliffs and Frankel. This year will see Ribchester, Barney Roy and Churchill clash in potentially the race of the week, with all three runners having previously claimed Group 1 glory before arriving at this race. Both Barney Roy and Churchill will receive seven pounds allowance due to being three year olds, which drastically changes the complexion of the race.

The Nassau Stakes, which has moved from Saturday to Thursday, arguably headlines the meeting as Winter bids to solidify herself as one of the top fillies of her generation. Won last year by Minding, it has played host to some brilliant races in the past with Midday the most successful horse, taking the contest on three occasions.

Draw Bias

There isn’t much of a draw bias on the straight course, with their being a marginal bias to the lower drawn numbers but this is usually balanced out by their being fresher ground for the higher drawn runners as the week progresses. The course at Goodwood tilts from the stand side to the far side, with their being a significant high draw bias on the straight course if the ground is ‘soft’.

Horses to Watch

The main focus of the week is likely to be Big Orange, who can become the first horse to win the Goodwood Cup three times on the bounce and only the second horse in history to win the race three times. Aidan O’Brien is always successful at the big meetings and he brings a power packed team headed by Winter and Churchill, who take centre stage in the Group 1 races. Other horses to note are the progressive Battaash who bids for glory in the King George Stakes, Ribchester who is looking for a third straight Group 1 in the Sussex Stakes and Librisa Breeze, who looks for a first Group 1 success in the Lennox Stakes on Tuesday.

Trainers to Watch

No trainer has been able to gain a stranglehold on the big races at the meeting in recent years, though Aidan O’Brien took both the Nassau Stakes and Sussex Stakes last season. Mark Johnston gained his tenth leading trainer award at the meeting last year, with Richard Hannon scooping the award in 2015. In general this season, Henry Candy has been the most profitable trainer with a £16.30 profit to level stakes, with John Gosden and Richard Hannon both trailing in behind.

Jockeys to Watch

In modern times, only Richard Hughes has eclipsed Ryan Moore in terms of the most victories at one single Festival, with the Ballydoyle Number 1 scoring a mammoth eight victories over the five days in 2016. Frankie Dettori is the winning most rider at Goodwood overall and he has recorded five top jockey awards at the Festival, with his first coming way back in 1994. This season overall, Jim Crowley has been the man to follow seven victories at the Sussex venue.

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