Goodwood racecourse is renowned for being one of the most exciting – and is considered by many to be the most beautiful – in the world.
Perched high on the Downs with stunning views towards Chichester and beyond, you’ll be astounded by the enviable location that sets it apart from other racecourses. A Goodwood race day experience is a truly unforgettable experience.
19 race days
19 days of racing take place between May and October at Goodwood every year, including one of the undoubted highlights of the season, the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Family fixtures take place at Goodwood during June and August every year, with entertainment for the whole family.
If music and party nights are more your thing, Goodwood’s Three Friday Nights feature big name DJs as the parade ring transforms into a dance floor.
Affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’, the world-famous five-day Qatar Goodwood Festivalis a sporting and social occasion like no other; with unrivalled style, 14 action-packed races and hospitality to savour – it’s undoubtedly one of the highlights of the flat-racing season.
Family Race Day
From free fairground rides and live music to joyous Jubilee celebrations to mark the Queen’s historical reign, everyone has been and always is guaranteed to have a smile on their face at Goodwood’s Family Race Day, taking place every June.
Let your little ones get up close to the equine stars while enjoying a variety of themed attractions, all to the backdrop of a high-octane seven race-card.
Three Friday Nights
If you like to party, three nights of music in the laser-lit parade ring after racing is sure to be your thing. Enjoy a unique combination of racing and music in Goodwood’s stunning setting overlooking the Downs.
History of the racecourse
As if the incredible events weren’t enough, Goodwood racecourse is synonymous with racing and stepped in history: the first public race meeting took place there in 1802, the year after the third Duke of Richmond (Charles Lennox) first held a private race meeting for the officers of the Sussex Militia and members of the Goodwood Hunt.
Up until 1801, the officers had held their annual races in nearby Petworth Park, courtesy of the Earl of Egremont, but the invitation was withdrawn in 1801. The Duke of Richmond came to the rescue, allowing the officers to race on “The Harroway”, a narrow ridge on top of the South Downs.
Family links to racing
The family’s links to horseracing go back even further to the seventeenth century: Charles II, father of the first Duke of Richmond, rode in races himself, even setting out rules and adjudicating over disputes.
The private meeting in 1801 was so successful that it was decided to hold a public race meeting the following year, held over three days.
A head-to-head race was the highlight: Rebel, owned by the Prince Regent (later King George IV) beat Cedar, owned by the Duke of Richmond, for 100 guineas.
At this time, races were a test of stamina as horses might have to run three two-mile heats, with a prize for the horse who won two out of three heats.
Fast forward to today, and there are a host of horseracing events to be enjoyed throughout the season.