Racecourse celebrating a hugely successful Qatar Goodwood Festival

With attendance figures once again well over 100,000 across the week and thirty seven races that all lived up to their top billing, the 2016 Qatar Goodwood Festival has been hailed a massive success.

credit George Gunn

credit George Gunn

Saturday’s record crowd of 26,068 enjoyed fine weather through the afternoon, ensuring the week ended with everybody outside enjoying the famous views across the Downs. Over the week, 3,000 catering staff served 15,000 complimentary strawberries, three tonnes of potatoes and sold 9,000 bottles of champagne.

The sixth running of the Magnolia Cup on Thursday 28 July was described as ‘magnificent’ by many of those who witnessed the 12 lady riders race over five and a half furlongs. The race was won by British Eventing team rider Izzy Taylor on Alketios, who just got the better of TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding in one of the closest finishes in the race’s history.

The race was run in front of a 23,332-strong Ladies’ Day crowd, who were also treated to an impressive victory by Big Orange in the Qatar Goodwood Cup, his second consecutive win in the race. Michael Bell’s popular stayer may well now return to Australia for another shot at the Melbourne Cup.

During a week where no race disappointed, the £1 million Qatar Sussex Stakes was contested by ten horses – twice the recent average – and produced a finish worthy of its prestige. Galileo Gold attempted to make all the running and ran a brave race, but ultimately it was The Gurkha and Ryan Moore who landed the spoils, coming with a perfectly timed run to triumph by a neck.

Moore was the Racing UK Leading Jockey at the Festival, claiming seven victories and proving once again why he is considered the world’s best. He overcame trouble in running aboard Minding (seemingly a regular occurrence for the filly) to land the Qatar Nassau Stakes on Saturday.

As ever, fashion was a key element of ‘Glorious’ and Sarah Weston led the way, winning the L’Ormarins best-dressed competition on Friday. She will travel to South Africa in January for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate as a guest of the sponsors.

Racing and entertainment returns to Goodwood from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 August with the August Bank Holiday fixture.

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