IT’s our season finale this Sunday and that’s always a time for a mixture of emotions, writes Goodwood racecourse MD Adam Waterworth.
I think we’ll be looking back with pride at having staged another excellent season of flat racing at Goodwood.
But there’ll be sadness too at having to close the gates to the public until next spring.
The end of the season has been pretty good for us, helped by fine weather that we hope will last at least until Sunday.
These final few meetings, after Glorious and our August bank holiday festival, could pass by quietly if we weren’t careful but we’ve been lucky to have kept on attracting top-quality horses for some excellent racing.
Take our last meeting – we had the Goodwood Cup winner Brown Panther back for the Foundation Stakes, which was won by another very good horse, Grandeur.
We hope that sort of quality will again be on show on Sunday, when we stage eight races but had enough entries for 12! At the five-day stage, we had an amazing 263 entries.
We have a couple of class-three handicaps on the card and I expect many people’s interest will be on looking out for some promising two-year-olds giving pointers for next season.
One man in the limelight on Sunday will be Richard Hannon, who has already sewn up our Dick Hern Trophy – given to the trainer with the most wins across our season – which he won every year from 2008 to 2011.
He’s had 16 winners here this season, which is staggering considering his closest rivals have won six each.
If Richard does retire, this will be a great way to bow out.
Hand in hand with his success is that of Richard Hughes, but he could still have a bit to do to finish as our top jockey for 2013, for he’s only two ahead of Ryan Moore.
Whoever Sunday’s winners are, it should be a great day.
And then we get down to the business of planning our 2014 programme, although we have already done a lot of work on this – more of which you’ll be able to read about in the Observer soon.
See tips for Sunday’s racing on this website on Saturday