Ready to go under starter’s orders at Goodwood

Action from last year's season opener at Goodwood / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Action from last year's season opener at Goodwood / Picture by Malcolm Wells

Plans are coming together for the start of what promises to be another flat-racing season to savour at Goodwood.

Staff will welcome guests to the racecourse for opening Saturday on May 6, the first of 19 days of racing in 2017.

The racing will be a chance to see some exciting young horses making their racecourse debuts, as well as some of the more experienced runners returning to the Sussex turf.

Seamus Buckley, preparing for his final season as clerk of the course at Goodwood, said: “Everything is going as planned and the course itself is in very good condition.

“We are where we want to be at this stage, though the dry weather has not helped the turf, so we’ll think about doing some watering to keep some moisture in the ground for opening Saturday.”

In addition to seven high-quality races there will also be the chance to explore, experience and discover more of what the Goodwood Estate has to offer – including golf, aviation and driving experiences.

We are where we want to be at this stage, though the dry weather has not helped the turf, so we’ll think about doing some watering to keep some moisture in the ground for opening Saturday.

Seamus Buckley

The team from Golf At Goodwood will be on hand help all racegoers, young and old, to try the game and practice their swing techniques with an inflatable golf net. A ‘longest drive’ competition using sophisticated Trackman technology will be the ideal way to put newly learned skills to the test.

For those aged 17 and under, complimentary young driver experiences will give a taster of the programmes provided at the historic Goodwood motor circuit. The 20-minute sessions include a slalom challenge, reversing round corners, hill starts and parallel parking.

The experiences use Mini three-door hatchbacks, but a full range of BMW performance cars are offered as part of Goodwood’s Ultimate Driving packages and the team will be at the racecourse to provide an insight into all that is on offer.

The estate is also home to an active aerodrome and the aviation team will present a state-of-the-art helicopter on the afternoon, allowing guests to explore the cockpit and ask any questions they may have about flying.

The aviation enthusiasts at Goodwood can explain all about the aerodrome.

The Waterbeach team from the Goodwood Health Club will also be on hand to provide complimentary foot massages, water massages and manicures.

* Next week in the Observer (April 27 edition), read how globe-trotting Goodwood bosses have been clocking up the air miles bidding to convince owners and trainers of top international horses to be part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

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