Glorious by name, Glorious by nature!
Glorious Goodwood is a week that celebrates all things ‘summer’ bringing style, speed, and strawberries together for five fabulous days of fun and frivolity. Undoubtedly Glorious Goodwood sits prominently in the middle of the summer racing calendar, but nowadays the week is known as much for the fashion as it is for the racing.
Located on the Sussex Downs, about five miles from the charming city of Chichester, Goodwood Racecourse is nestled in the spectacular Goodwood Estate which is still owned and run by the Richmond family. Goodwood Racecourse has hosted horse racing for over 200 years, with its first meeting being put on by the third Duke of Richmond for local army officers in 1802. This small and discrete event two centuries ago has developed into one of the most iconic events of the social calendar.
Glorious Goodwood is famously known for its more relaxed atmosphere, in contrast to some of its more traditional counterparts at Ascot and Epsom. This laid-back ethos was instilled by Edward VII during the early-1900s when one year he arrived at the course wearing a white top hat. The fashion-conscious of high society then rushed back to London and asked their hatters to replicate this overnight. Two years later Edward VII completed this sartorial downgrade and presented himself in a linen lounge suit rather than the more formal and restricting morning suit, which today is so famously associated with Royal Ascot. The look was completed with a straw panama hat, which has now become synonymous with the midsummer festival.
Not to be overshadowed by the elegant attire, racing still takes centre stage during the week with the highlights coming in the form of the QIPCO Sussex Stakes on Wednesday 1st August and the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes on Saturday 4th August. The QIPCO Sussex Stakes, run over a mile, was won last year by wonder horse Frankel, and he is on course to win the Group 1 race for a second time in 2012. The Nassau Stakes, a race for fillies and mares, which always produces a competitive and exciting race, is headed up this year by globe-trotting mare Snow Fairy who finished second in this race 12 months ago and this year’s Oaks heroine Was. These two races together with the Artemis Goodwood Cup on Thursday 2nd August make up part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Ladies’ Day on Thursday will kick off with the Magnolia Cup, a celebrity ladies’ charity race which will be run this year in aid of Spinal Research and Winston’s Wish. Last year’s race was won by supermodel Edie Campbell who will be returning this year to defend her title. Other celebrities include BBC Radio 1 presenter Sara Cox, Jade Williams (aka Sunday Girl) and Channel 4 Racing presenter Emma Spencer amongst others. Like last year the silks have been designed by celebrated fashion designers and models including Kate Moss, Sadie Frost, Luella Bartley, Bella Freud, Jasmine Guinness and Amanda Wakeley.
Although there are no guarantees as to who will win the races, what is a certainty is Glorious Goodwood will produce another memorable week of top class racing!
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