The Qatar Goodwood Festival, which takes place from Tuesday 26 July to Saturday 30 July, is one of the undisputed highlights of the British sporting and social calendar. The world-famous five-day festival, affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’, presents spellbinding sport to the backdrop of the rolling Sussex Downs. To whet the appetite for an exquisite week where the greatest stars in turf flat racing are crowned champions, here are a few things to savour.
As one of Britain’s oldest and most prestigious race meetings, the hallowed turf of Goodwood Racecourse hosted its first public race meeting in 1802.
Through the generations, the racecourse has laid host to legendary equine talent, including, Double Trigger, who famously won the Goodwood Cup three times in the 1990s, while the mighty Frankel, officially the highest-rated horse in the history of the turf, is the only horse to have won the Sussex Stakes twice: in 2011 and 2012.
This year, 13 Group races will attract the who’s who from racing’s global stage. Day one gets underway with the historic Goodwood Cup. Staying-superstar Stradivarius will aim to rewrite history with a fifth win in the race. He returns to the West Sussex track for what could possibly be his swansong in a stellar career.
The best milers go head-to-head on day two in the most valuable race of the festival for the £1 million Qatar Sussex Stakes. A race famed for many an epic ‘Duel on the Downs,’ in recent years, it has been won by the exceptional racing talent, including the likes of Kingman and Mohaather.
Thursday features a celebration of the best fillies and mares in the world, Japanese trained racehorse Dierdre raised the roof when successful in the Qatar Nassau Stakes in 2019 with the hallowed roll of honour for this illustrious race, including some of the best horses of all time.
A total of four quality Group races on Friday, with the headline King George Qatar Stakes featuring the fastest horses in the world. The Unibet Stewards’ Cup cavalry charge on Saturday concludes the week, a race that sees over 20 sprinters galloping down the Goodwood home straight for a chance at glory and a place in history.
The Secret Garden
A beautiful floral-filled hospitality space designed to feel like racegoers are walking into a private garden party
Stepping into the Secret Garden is breath-taking – the restaurant is designed to provide a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Served straight from the Chef’s table, enjoy a range of delicious dishes inspired by locally sourced produce. Choose from cold plates including whole sides of kiln roasted salmon and Nutbourne tomatoes, hot dishes such as charred Goodwood estate pork, estate beef, and beetroot falafel finishing with a selection of sweet puddings. Served after lunch, there’s no finer location for an afternoon tea to complete your race day experience.
Hospitality to Savour
Each enclosure offers a wealth of places to eat and drink alongside exceptional experiences.
Unique entertaining spaces include the Charlton Hunt Restaurant, where accents of walnut and marble pair with menus celebrating the finest local produce.
Shared bars such as botanical-themed Sussex Roof Garden, are perfect for that family reunion or celebratory occasion, while the Sussex Lounge bar offers a more informal place to use as a base for group get togethers.
Toast the Summer
If soaking up the sultry summer atmosphere with friends and family over a beverage is your go-to, why not sip champagne in the Veuve Clicquot Champagne & Seafood Bar or enjoy award-winning refined excellence with a bottle of Vintage English Sparkling Wine at the GusbournePavilion.
What’s more the Gusbourne Sparkling Wine Package will allow guests to celebrate the Qatar Goodwood Festival with a complimentary glass of bubbly, alongside a food voucher, and enclosure ticket.
Grab a refreshing Goodwood Beer brewed using home-grown malted barley or toast a glorious day out on The Downs with the spirited flavour of Nicholson Gin.
The centre and focus will be a brand-new bandstand which will provide the hub for the guaranteed good times. Headlining the ever-popular saxophonist group Entourage, before a live set will be hosted by DJ Sarah Bo Parker, party tunes and electric energy will be will undoubtedly be the theme across the five days.
Back by popular demand and exclusive to the Lennox Enclosure, Squinty McGinty’s Band will be bringing lively Irish music, which is sure to leave racegoers dancing until the sunset.
Fashion to the fore
Fashionistas flock to Qatar Goodwood Festival with sensational style hitting an all-time high come Ladies’ Day.
The ‘Goodwood Look’ for women is both chic and relaxed. Vibrant ensembles and summer prints featured in simple tea dresses or flowing maxi dresses make a perfect choice.
The Panama Hat is an icon of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, worn by women and men alike. Its wide brim is perfect for shielding your eyes from the sun, and its timeless style makes it the perfect addition to any outfit.
Goodwood celebrates sensational style on Friday, with racegoers encouraged to wear the signature pastel blue and white colours of L’Ormarins for a chance to win a trip of-a-lifetime to South Africa.
The Lord March Racing XI vs. Lord’s Taveners Cricket Match
Set to the picturesque backdrop of Goodwood House, after the first day of racing, the popular annual cricket match between Lord March Racing XI and the Lord’s Taveners will welcome ex-professional sportspeople of the Lord Taveners to take on the Lord March Racing XI. Free to attend, it’s an unmissable evening of sport.
The Goodwood Talent in Fashion Award
With the Goodwood Estate’s rich heritage of fashion through the ages the Qatar Goodwood Festival launched the Goodwood Talent in Fashion Award last season.
Created in partnership with the British Fashion Council, on the first day of the festival, the award will once again recognise innovative fashion, alongside the creativity and flair of a young British designer. The winner will follow in the footsteps of inaugural successor Richard Quinn, with three beautiful couture designs on display for racegoers to admire.
The Markel Magnolia Cup
Twelve inspirational amateur riders’ line-up for the Markel Magnolia Cup in the name of charity. Since its inception the charity race has raised a phenomenal £1.8million for amazing causes, including Cancer Research UK and Smart Works.
Previous jockeys have included doctors, Olympians, CEOs, journalists, students, models, and presenters, among them; Edie Campbell, Sara Cox, Rosie Tapner, and Vogue Williams. In 2019 the race captured the eyes of the world when Khadijah Mellah galloped to glory up Goodwood’s home straight.
The challenge will require total commitment, zealous pursuit of excellence, and sheer hard work to win – it is a must-see moment on Thursday, 28 July.
Fun for the family
The Lennox Enclosure isfantastic for a family day out, owing to its relaxed surroundings. A large children’s playground and flat grassy picnic spots next to the running rail put racegoers close to on-course action as the race unfolds.
At the height of the British School Summer Holidays, the Qatar Goodwood Festival offers all under 18’s the opportunity to go racing free of charge when accompanied by an adult.
20% off early-bird offer
Goodwood Racecourse is tailor-made for a group get together, so if you are planning on attending The Qatar Goodwood Festival as part of a group of 5 or more, make sure that you take advantage of our fantastic group ticket rates available for the Richmond, Gordon and Lennox Enclosures, where up to 20% off can be obtained at checkout.
Standard admission purchases can benefit from the early-bird booking window with adult tickets available from just £20 until midnight on 31 May 2022. All tickets, dining, and hospitality for the Qatar Goodwood Festival can be purchased by visiting Goodwood.com or calling 01243 755055 to find out more.