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British Horse Racecourses: Evaluating the Goodwood Racecourse

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The author is an air warrior, military historian and writer on warfare and military history


Horse racing

Horse racing is appreciated the world over except perhaps in China. The racing season is always looked forward to and from Bombay to England the racing season is one of joy and expectation. A lot of betting also takes place, but it is strictly regulated. Horse races take place at. specially constructed courses.

Some of the racecourses over the years have the legendary tag. Suffice it to say that without racecourses there would be no horse racing. Racecourses mature with age. One can almost compare them to old wine. Over the years a racecourse builds up a reputation and also needs time to come of age.

Goodwood Race Course

One racecourse that was laid out in 1802 and has made a name for it is the Goodwood racecourse. This racecourse is located about five miles from Chichester, West Sussex, in England.

Racing horses is recognized as the king of all sport and the Goodwood racecourse has made a name for itself in the racing circuit with a pedigree that traces to 200 years. This makes it one of the oldest racecourses in the world. Throughout these two centuries, the racecourse has remained active and horses have raced here. When sitting in the stands it is a sobering thought the horses have competed at this venue for over 200 years. This is vintage stuff.


The racecourse was laid out by the 3rd Duke of Richmond in the early 19th century. The racecourse has been looked after for the last 2 centuries by the house of Richmond. It’s to their credit that they have maintained the racecourse to a high standard. The present Duke trained to be an accountant, but it does not stop him from maintaining, what is now considered one of the finest racecourses in England.

This racecourse is basically for flat racing and over the decades has built up a reputation of being a slightly difficult course. This is so because the course is at an incline for the first furlong and mostly downhill for the next 5 furlongs. At one end of the racecourse, there is a tight right-handed loop from where the longer races take off.

The racecourse is part of the annual race calendar in England. It plays host to the annual Glorious Goodwood meeting. This is one of the major highlights of the British flat racing calendar. It also stages 2 of the UK's 31 Group One flat races, the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes.

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The house of Richmond also maintains an excellent race club. Membership of this club known as the Goodwood Horse Racing Club is open to all on payment of an annual subscription. The subscription rate for new members is £469( it is revised at periodic intervals), while renewals cost: £319. There is a special young person’s membership for teens aged between 18-24 for £ 150. This shows the thoughtful approach of the house of Richmond. The Horse racing club has an egalitarian approach.

The Richmond club has as its member some of the most influential sportsmen, statesmen, diplomats, and royalty as its members. There is also a heliport about 5 miles North East of Chichester which is maintained by the race club

Media and races at Goodwood

Most races at the Goodwood racecourse are televised live and the BBC has had exclusive rights for this for the last 50 years, till 2006. Since 2007, Channel 4 Racing has bagged the rights for the races. There are 19 Goodwood Horse Race Meetings in 2013 including the Glorious Goodwood which is held in July and August every year. The Wuhan virus did have a dampening effect but the club has announced its 2020-21 calendar. The club has announced the dates for the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed. These races attract attention the world over and betting takes place at distant venues, where the punters keep track of races that are televised live.

Last word

The Goodwood course is part of English horse racing history. It is one of the most beautiful courses in the world. However, its closeness to the coast does have a slight drawback as sometimes fog envelops the racecourse. Some people do feel that the fog adds its own charm to the racecourse.

Racecourses like the Goodwood Race Course add to the glory that was England and is almost like a national treasure to be nurtured and preserved for all time to come. This is almost an inspirational racecourse and a visit here is something a Connaissaire of horse racing will relish. If you have the money you can bet a few pounds and come back happier with the result.


MG Singh (author) from UAE on May 12, 2021:

Excellent information, Tom, in India there are no good stud farms though Cyrus Poonawala owns one. Only good racecourse is at Mumbai. Army does great with horses but use is now limited. I have watched the camel race in Dubai.

tom on May 12, 2021:

english derby famous,dog and horse rave aristocratic passions.india few good stud farms,equsterian sports by army,wolfgang lotz used riding club for spying,arab camel races

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