Goodwood bosses believe race-goers are in for an ‘amazing’ afternoon’s racing on Saturday with a top-class card set to be the centrepiece of an action-packed three days on the Downs.
The Group 2 Doom Bar Celebration Mile - the biggest race Goodwood stages each year outside of Glorious - has attracted a high-calibre field.
It will be the highlight of a day that wouldn’t be out of place at the Qatar Goodwood Festival and also features the Group 3 Prestige Stakes and two good-quality handicaps.
Past Goodwood performers including Toormore and Arod are in the frame and Sir Michael Stoute’s Thikriyaat - likely to go off favourite - has been added late to the line-up after fine performances at Newmarket and Royal Ascot were followed by victory in Goodwood’s Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes at Glorious a month ago.
Lightning Spear and Zonderland make up the field of five in the Celebration Mile.
There are nine in the Prestige Stakes and a pleasing 75 runners for the whole Saturday card.
Goodwood’s August Bank Holiday Festival begins this evening (Friday) with six races including the Chichester Observer Maiden Stakes, followed by a spectacular fireworks finale.
Sunday’s seven-race card includes the Group 3 Doom Bar Supreme Stakes.
Racecourse general manager Alex Eade said: “We’re all set for a wonderful weekend. The forecast is looking pretty good and we are delighted by entries.
“The theme for the whole weekend is on seaside holidays of yesteryear and there will be plenty of entertainment to appeal to all ages.”
Fire-eaters, flame dancers, Batala drummers, acrobats, stilt walkers and a musical firework display will all help create a carnival atmosphere at the racecourse.
Racegoers of all ages can enjoy an interactive circus, a petting zoo, a vintage Punch and Judy show, face-painting, an inflatable golf net, an old-fashioned fairground, a mock beach-front, fish and chips and ice creams.
The Class of 58 band will be rock‘n’rolling the Saturday and Sunday to a close.
Eade said: “We are thrilled to welcome back Starlight – the award-winning firework team that did the display for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations – who will be providing another incredible show on the Friday night.
“This fixture is a real highlight of our season and is so popular with families, so it is great that we’re able to offer free admission for children under 18.”
Our tips for Friday: 5.00 Guanabara Bay, 5.35 Celestial Spheres, 6.05 La Casa Tarifa, 6.40 Tyrell, 7.10 Laugh Aloud, 7.45 Baltic Prince.
Tips for Saturday: 2.10 Bella Alissa, 2.45 On Her Toes, 3.20 Mister Universe, 3.55 Platitude, 4.30 Toormore, 5.05 Dawn Mirage, 5.40 Kismet Hardy.
* Tickets for the August Bank Holiday fixture start from £10, with complimentary admission for accompanied under-18s.
Gates open at 3pm on Friday and 11.30am on Saturday and Sunday. For more, please visit www.goodwood.com or call the ticket office on 01243 216610.
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