Goodwood forced to abandoned season finale after 168mm of rain in 20 days

Mark Johnston is pictured a year ago receiving the Dick Hern Trophy from racecourse manager Alex Eade - now he has won it again / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Mark Johnston is pictured a year ago receiving the Dick Hern Trophy from racecourse manager Alex Eade - now he has won it again / Picture by Malcolm Wells

Persistent rain forced Goodwood racecourse to abandon its final fixture of 2019.

Officials made the decision on Sunday morning amid fears conditions would be unsafe for horses and jockeys.

Clerk of the course said 168mm - 6.6 inches - of rain had been recorded in the past 20 days.

A statement issued by Goodwood said: "We regret to inform you that the season finale has been abandoned. This is due to the extensive wet weather which we have experienced over the past few days and the unsafe racing conditions which it has caused.

"The safety of the jockeys, horses and our racegoers continue to be our utmost priority and we hope you can understand why this decision has been made. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this might have caused and very much hope to welcome you back to the racecourse in 2020."

It means Mark Johnston is confirmed as the track's leading trainer for 2019 and will retain the Dick Hern Trophy after sending 11 winners to post this year.

Oisin Murphy, who rode Japanese horse Deirdre to victory in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, was the top jockey on the Downs for the season, also with 11 wins.