Goodwood celebrates double race boost

Endless Time (William Buick) on the way to winning the 2017 Lillie Langtry Stakes - a race which has now been upgraded / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Endless Time (William Buick) on the way to winning the 2017 Lillie Langtry Stakes - a race which has now been upgraded / Picture by Malcolm Wells
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Goodwood bosses are delighted by news the Lillie Langtry Stakes has been upgraded from Group 3 to Group 2 - and the March Stakes has gone up from listed status to Group 3.

The upgrades are the result of a strong campaign from Goodwood and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), who made a presentation to the European Pattern Committee.

The moves are part of a drive by the industry to enhance the Europe-wide programme for staying horses, something that Goodwood is whole-heartedly supporting.

Both the Lillie Langtry, which will take place on Thursday, August 2, at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, and the March Stakes, which will be run on Saturday, August25, at the August Bank Holiday Weekend fixture, are run over a distance of one mile and six furlongs.

The news follows on from the upgrade of the Qatar Goodwood Cup to Group 1 in 2017.

Alex Eade, general manager at Goodwood Racecourse, said: “Goodwood is delighted by the recent upgrades and the continued progression of our race programme that it represents. Perhaps the most important point is that, of the additional £500,000 we have put into prize money this year, the majority has gone to our grass-roots races.

“Our top-end upgrades are extremely important for our international competitiveness and to provide a shop window for British racing but they also allow us to generate the funds to invest in our commitment to providing a balanced programme that gives owners at all levels the opportunities and rewards they deserve.”

Goodwood's 2018 season begins on Saturday, May 5. Glorious week runs from July 31 to August 4.