Goodwood MD hopeful of stunning season - and hoping for a dry one

Adam Waterworth is ready for the Goodwood action to begin again  Picture by Malcolm Wells
Adam Waterworth is ready for the Goodwood action to begin again Picture by Malcolm Wells

Our season starts on Saturday and we’re raring to go, writes Goodwood racecourse MD Adam Waterworth.

The good weather has come just at the right time. Our greenery is unrecognisable compared to how it looked just a few weeks ago.

The trees and hedges are starting to wake up and the grass has really come on, even in the past week or so.

Seamus, the clerk of the course, is very happy with the ground and even looks like he’ll need to do a bit of watering - if you’d suggested during all that rain we’d need to do that, we have laughed you out of the place.

It looks like being a dry build-up - and a dry day on Saturday for our opening fixture. It has to be better than last year, when it was absolutely freezing on the first day. Let’s hope this sets the tone for a good summer for racing.

All our winter projects are complete and we’re delighted with them. These include the refurbishment of the members’ bar, which looks fantastic, and the new kids’ playground in the Lennox Enclosure, which will be open from Saturday’s fixture.

My kids tell me it’s great, and that’s good enough for me!

The card for Saturday is looking good. We’ve had a good number of entries and there’s plenty of quality too.

Hopefully we’ll see a few horses that will perform well and will then be back at Goodwood later in the season, perhaps even at Glorious.

Advance ticket sales for Saturday and for all our early-season fixtures have gone well.

You can read elsewhere on this page about our new link-up with the No1 female jockey Hayley Turner, who is to be our racecourse ambassador.

There’ll be a lot of focus on Ladies’ Day and the Magnolia Cup from us this year and Hayley is perfect to help us fly the flag. We’re really looking forward to working with her.

Finally, it’s time for my big-race tip, and I’m in confident mood after backing Grand National runner-up Cappa Bleu in last month’s column.

Saturday brings the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and I fancy Toronado, trained by Richard Hannon. He was a star as a two-year-old and has already had a good win at Newbury this year.

And I see Goodwood Mirage - owned by the Goodwood Racehorse Owners’ Group - is due to run at Windsor on Monday for William Knight. He’s certainly worth a look.

Adam Waterworth

See tips for the meeting on this website later today - and get a racing report here on Saturday evening plus Twitter updates during racing from @stevebone1