Sussex Stakes day set to be dry at Goodwood

Better weather is expected for day two at Goodwood / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Better weather is expected for day two at Goodwood / Picture by Malcolm Wells

Goodwood Clerk of the Course Ed Arkell is expecting a dry day for visitors who attend the Qatar Goodwood Festival tomorrow.

A damp start with drizzle and gusting winds was not the best way to open the five-day meeting, but the racing which unfolded was a perfect blend of high-class performance and close-finish action.

Arkell, who is in charge of his second Qatar Goodwood Festival, said: "We only had 2.2 millimetres of rain this morning, so nothing much, but when the wind gets behind drizzle it looks like torrential rain. In fact it was nothing like as bad as that.

"We knew a bit of rain before racing was probably going to make a small difference to the going and we changed it from 'good, good to firm in places' to 'good'.

"The wind is forecast to drop away tonight, and while there is just the risk of a shower until 3am that risk is decreasing all the time. We may have another millimetre or two, but I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't get any rain.

"Tomorrow (Weds) we are forecast a dry day with sunny spells, and that looks settled for the rest of the week."

Arkell said there'd be no changes to the course layout overnight, and, reflecting on the opening day's action, he said: "Stradivarius was wonderful again in the Qatar Goodwood Cup, and the Godolphin two-year-old, Pinatubo, was hugely impressive in the Qatar Vintage Stakes. His time was a second and a bit quicker than that achieved by Sir Dancealot in the Qatar Lennox Stakes, which says much about his performance.

"It was also a thrill to see John Gallagher win the five-furlong handicap, the Chelsea Barracks Handicap, with Green Power. One thing we are really keen on is to provide a programme which gives winning opportunities for trainers with smaller yards, and owners who only have one or two horses or even shares in a horse. There are not always opportunities for small operators at other big meetings, and it is something we are keen on - and delighted by today's result."