Channon and Candy off to a flyer at Goodwood

The large crowd looks on over the Downs in the sunshine
The large crowd looks on over the Downs in the sunshine

Mick Channon got his Goodwood season off to the perfect start when October Storm won the track's first race of 2017.

In front a large crowd making the most of beautiful spring sunshine, Graham Lee was on board October Storm for a perfectly-timed late surge to take the Betfred Follow Us On Twitter Handicp Stakes at 8/1, with Ayr of Elegance (16/1) second and long-time leader Denmead third.

October Storm is owned by Sussex's Jon and Julia Aisbitt and they were not the only local connections to enjoy a spot in the winner's enclosure.

Horsham trainer Gary Moore soon followed them when his 25/1 contender Gossiping took the Betfred Treble Odds On Lucky 15S Handocap Stakes under Shane Kelly.

The season's first listed race at the course, the Betfred TV EBF Stallions Daisy Warwick Stakes, was claimed by Fran Berry with an impressive front-running ride on Ajman Pricess (6/1), streaking away for a five-length success over 20/1 shot Elysian Fields.

The Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap Stakes went to Vibrant Chords - a 5/1 contender tipped on this website - ridden by Tom Marquand for trainer Henry Candy.

That was the first leg of a double for Candy and his second winner was also tipped here, Queen of Time (4/5 fav) taking the Betfred Mobile Median Auction Maiden Stakes under Kieran Shoemark.

Elsewhere the day's other listed race, the Betfred "Watch Sky Sports In Our Shops" Conqueror Stakes, went to Laugh Aloud (3/1), ridden by Jimmy Fortune for John Gosden, while the two divisions of the Betfred Celebrating 50 Years Of Success Handicap were taken by Road to Dubai (11/2) and Darkroom Angel.

It was a great start to a season in which Goodwood will again host 19 days of flat racing - with the three-day May Festival up next on May 25, 26 and 27.

Away from the track, race-goers were able to enjoy demonstrations of other sports and pastimes available on the Goodwood estate, such as golf, motorsport and aviation.

See a report and pictures from the season opener in the Chichester Observer, out Thursday

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