Rain hits Goodwood as vintage season comes to an end
It's been glorious at Goodwood for much of the season. But that couldn't be said of the final day.
Rain before and during racing hit crowd numbers and rather spoiled what should have been a lovely autumnal afternoon out for race-goers.
Nevertheless there was plenty of absorbing action on the track at the 19th and final fixture of 2018 on the South Downs, although the death of Dubawi Prnice after a mid-race fall cast a shadow over proceedings.
The meeting began with the Alderbrook Stakes, the annual chance for professional jump jockeys to test their abilities over the undulating and unforgiving Goodwood track, and it was won by Nikc Scholfield in only his second ride at the racecourse. He steered 5/2 favourite Jam Session to a thrilling victory over long-time leader Orin Swift, winning by a length and a quarter.
The Netbet Best Odds Guaranteed EBF Novice Auction Stakes went to Charles Bishop on the Mick Channon-trained Chairmanoftheboard, who went off evens favourite and romped home for an eight-length success.
As for the rain, no-one at Goodwood could complain too much. This was only the third of the season's fixtures to be affected by signifciant rain - and memories of picture-perfect Qatar Goodwood Festival, which saw wall to wall sunshine, are still fresh in the mind.
it was proving a very good day for favourites - as the previous meeting at the end of September had been - with the market leader also winning the third, as the Netbet Boost Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery Handicap went to 3/1 fav Sparklealot, ridden by Adam Kirby for trainer Ivan Furtado.
The run of favourites winning came to a halt when 33/1 shot The Pink'n claimed the Netbet Golden Goal British EBF Novice Stakes with a great ride from Rob Hornby for trainer Wiltshire trainer Seamus Mullins. The Pink'n was three-quarters of a length in front of Mister Chiang, trained by Mark Johnston.
Meanwhile Johnston was confirmed as the winner - for the fourth time - of Goodwood's Dick Hern Trophy, awarded to the trainer with the most wins at the track over the course of the season. He has had 12 winners - well clear of his closest rivals - to retain the trophy he also lifted last year.
Johnston was not present at Goodwood to receive the trophy.
Jockey Kirby completed a double when he rode Now Children (4/1) to victory in the Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group Handicap for Clive Cox.
There was drama mid-race when Dubawi Prince fell. It was soon confirmed the horse's injury was fatal. Jockey Andrea Atzeni was hurt and needed treatment from Goodwood's medical staff.
Alaadel (7/2) won the Netbet Betmaker Handicap for Stuart Williams under Oisin Murphy - who has been one of the stars of the saddle at Goodwood this season, while the last race of Goodwood's season - the Netbet Android App Handicap - went to 4/1 joint favourite Macaque, making it a quickfire double for Murphy and a first win of the afternoon for trainer Andrew Balding.