Glorious Goodwood prize money boost - and season opener is here
The Qatar Goodwood Festival is set to offer a total prize fund of over £4.8m - a significant boost to owners and the horseracing industry following the reduced prizes available in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Three stellar Group 1 races across the five days all see their 2019 prize money contributions reinstated, with the headline being the Qatar Sussex Stakes returning to its former level of £1m.
Tuesday’s Qatar Goodwood Cup, which has been won in the last four years by the staying superstar Stradivarius, sees its prize fund return to the pre-Covid level of £500,000, while Thursday’s feature will be the £600,000 Qatar Nassau Stakes.
It comes as Goodwood gears up for its first two fixtures of the season - tomorrow (Fri April 30) and Saturday (May 1).
Friday’s seven-race card starts at 1pm and features the Daisy Warwick Fillies’ Stakes at 2.45pm. Saturday’s racing also has a 1pm and the feature, the Conquerer Fillies’ Stakes, is live on ITV at 2.05,
Meanwhile, much anticipation surrounds the return of spectators to pre-pandemic capacities, with Goodwood’s flagship meeting set to be one of the first major racing festivals to welcome back significant numbers following the lifting of restrictions published in the Government’s road map.
Adam Waterworth, events managing director at The Goodwood Group, said: “Prize money is incredibly important for our owners whose commitment and support we value tremendously. They are vital to the livelihood of the sport, and we’re delighted to be able to return our feature races to the levels we ran them in 2019.
“The last 12 months have been extremely challenging for the business as a whole with severe financial hardships. However, despite revenues remaining challenging in 2020, and the uncertainty around crowd numbers at some of our fixtures, investment in prize money has always been a priority for Goodwood, and we accept our role in trying to ensure the higher rated horses remain in training in this country, whilst also striving to attract some of the best thoroughbreds from further afield.
“We are incredibly grateful to our official title partner, the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, without whose support we would not have been able to offer these levels of prize money, and our other sponsors, broadcast, and betting media partners.
“Goodwood is very much looking forward getting racing under way this season. We will be welcoming limited spectators to the racecourse across May and June, when admission is likely to be limited to Members, although hospitality experiences will be open to all.
“Ticket sales have been phenomenal for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. It’s one of the best on sales we have known, and all being well, we anticipate hosting racegoers at pre-pandemic capacities come the end of July.”
Tickets, dining, and hospitality are now on sale for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Visit Goodwood.com or call 01243 755055 to find out more.