Welcome to our official guide to Goodwood Racecourse. We explore this stunning flat racing racecourse looking at its history, its infamous meeting known as Glorious Goodwood, a guide to the unique track, local hotel picks, racing fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
- 1 Overview of Goodwood
- 2 The Racecourse History
- 3 Main Races and Events Held at Goodwood
- 4 Goodwood Racecourse Map
- 5 Goodwood Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Goodwood Races
- 7 Recommended Hotels Near Goodwood
- 8 The Best Goodwood Betting Sites
- 9 Betting Shops Local to Goodwood Racecourse
- 10 Goodwood Racecourse Fixtures
- 11 Goodwood Racecourse Weather
- 12 Other Events
- 13 Summary
- 14 Other Racecourses in the UK and Ireland
Overview of Goodwood
Part of the historical and picturesque Goodwood Hall estate, Goodwood Racecourse shares its home with the hall itself, two golf courses, a cricket course, a racing circuit, an aerodrome and the headquarters of prestigious car manufacturer Rolls-Royce! It’s right at home as part of ‘England’s Greatest Sporting Estate’.
The name ‘Goodwood’ is synonymous with luxury, prestige and lavish events. Goodwood Racecourse, part of the estate, is no different – and is considered one of the best racecourses in Britain.
Just 10 miles from the coast and slightly north of Chichester, Goodwood Racecourse sits next to Trundle Iron Age Fort, which is often used as an informal grandstand for spectators to watch all of the racing action. That said, it needs to be on a clear day, as the proximity to the seaside means that it often gets foggy, particularly in the mornings and evenings!
An unusual track, Goodwood has six straight furlongs; uphill for the first and mainly downhill for the rest. A tight right-handed loop at the far end allows longer distance races to join. The course is used for flat turf racing only. It’s notoriously difficult to manage and the most experienced and skilful of jockeys excel here. Traffic frequently happens on the corners and the undulations are more severe than you’ll find elsewhere. It’ll be no surprise to hear that the stewards at Goodwood are amongst the best in the world!
As the jewel in the Goodwood crown, it’s no surprise that there’s plenty of media interest in the race days here. For 2 years in the 1960s, ITV covered its summer meetings and Channel 4 showed it occasionally in the 2000s, but otherwise, it was exclusively covered by the BBC for a full 50 years! Now the coverage switches to whoever owns the British racing contract at the given time.
The Racecourse History
The history Goodwood stretches back over 200 years. In 1801, the third Duke of Richmond (who lived in Goodwood Hall, of course) held a private race meet for the members of his Hunt and the local militia, and the year after, the first public met was held.
The course quickly gained the nickname ‘Glorious Goodwood’ from the press and the summer meets fast became ‘must-attend’ events amongst the well-heeled; albeit perhaps more for the partying than the racing!
King Edward VII was famously quoted as saying that Goodwood was “just a garden party… with racing tacked on”.
When racing resumed in the UK after WWII, Goodwood’s popularity soared again. The record for attendance was reached in 1953, when 55,000 people turned up all on one day!
Today, Goodwood continues to enjoy success and welcomes over 100,000 racegoers annually as part of the Goodwood Festival. Its reputation remains tip-top and it’s certainly still a must-go venue for racing fans all over the country.
Main Races and Events Held at Goodwood
Goodwood is home to 19 days of horseracing every year, but the biggest and most prominent event of them all is undoubtedly the ‘Glorious’ Goodwood Festival (also known as the Qatar Goodwood Festival, as it is literally sponsored by Qatar!). There are three Group 1 races held during the festival – the Sussex Stakes group 1, the Nassau Stakes and the Goodwood Cup – as well as the Stewards Cup. The festival is held in July or August annually and is very much a staple in the summer schedule for racing fans in the UK.
Goodwood Racecourse Map
Goodwood is a right-handed track with two bends. Races of up to a mile and a quarter use the lower bend, and longer distance races excess use the top bend. Although there is a five-furlong run-in from the turns and the steep downhill run make Goodwood a sharp track, favouring those who sit on the pace and generally handy types. The five-furlong course is one of the fastest in the world.
Goodwood Draw Bias
Goodwood consists of a straight six-furlong course which after a short climb is essentially downhill all the way to the winning post. The 5-furlong course is one of the quickest in the world and means that a good start is necessary. Races over longer distances are uphill to start with but then have the downhill home straight finish. The undulations and sharp downhill finish mean that the course is quite sharp and tends to suit handy horses rather than strong galloping types. With so many undulations a well-balanced horse is also key.
Goodwood Racecourse Address
How To Get To Goodwood Races
- By car – just 60 miles from London and 30 miles from Brighton, Goodwood Racecourse isn’t too far from anywhere but is in a rural area. Most attendees travel by car to the track, and there is ample free and paid-for parking servicing all enclosures. That said, don’t rely on a sat nav – turn it off once you reach Chichester, and follow the road signs! It sits in West Sussex, South Downs
- By bus – buses run from Chichester Railway Station to the track, but only on major race days, so check before you travel or book a cab.
- Air – for those travelling by air, the Goodwood Aerodrome is available for rotary and fixed-wing aircraft but needs to be booked in advance.
Recommended Hotels Near Goodwood
Due to the rural nature of the area around Goodwood Racecourse, you won’t find an abundance of accommodation options nearby, but there are some country-hotel type options not too far away. Be warned though – none are huge and will need booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
The closest hotel is the Goodwood Hotel, and it’s reasonably priced considering its proximity. There’s a spa, a health club and a pub on-site, and the concierge will arrange transport to the course for you on race days. Also nearby, you’ll find The Fox Goes Free, The Dean Inn and Souters Cottage – always good for some racing tips.
It is highly recommended that you book early for Qatar Goodwood Festival and we always suggest checking out Booking.com as below for some great deals.
The Best Goodwood Betting Sites
At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue.
If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals:
Betting Shops Local to Goodwood Racecourse
You’ll find all the usual betting facilities you’d expect to at the course, and the independent bookmakers at Goodwood Racecourse are particularly experienced and upmarket; so worth a flutter with them if you’d like to give it a go! Goodwood welcomes lots of tourists and first-time racegoers, so offer comprehensive betting advice online on their website and on-site at their information points.
There aren’t any betting shops nearby to Goodwood because of its countryside location, and the mobile signal often isn’t strong enough to access the internet and bet online. If you’d prefer to hedge your bets with a chain, you can find branches of Coral, Betfred and William Hill in nearby Chichester town centre.
Goodwood Racecourse Fixtures
Due to Covid 19 many fixtures are being re-arranged. The five day Qatar Goodwood Festival 2020 was carried out behind closed doors with no public attendance.
Goodwood Racecourse Weather
Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable for the day and especially for Glorious Goodwood. Here’s the current weather forecast for Goodwood (Chicester is the nearest main town):
There’s always lots on around the Goodwood estate, but Goodwood Racecourse isn’t just used for racing! Family fun (and fundraising) days are held throughout the summer, and the course also becomes home to live music on hazy warm evenings. Known as the Ultimate South Coast party, the likes of Sub Focus and Carl Cox are booked for 2020 and 2021. It’s Ibiza vibes, without the flight costs!
Goodwood is a stunning course and a chance to attend the world-famous five day Qatar Goodwood Festival or Glorious Goodwood is not to be missed. It’s not just a fantastic racing event but one of the main English social events of the year – think the Wimbledon of racing! With Group 1 races galore including the Sussex Stakes and Nassau Stakes tickets are always in high demand. Later in the season, they host the fiercely competitive Stewards Cup, one of the biggest 6-furlong handicaps anywhere in the world. A beautiful course and one you’ll never forget, make sure you add Goodwood to your bucket list!
Other Racecourses in the UK and Ireland
Our team as of January 2021 have reviewed these racecourses that are also worth a visit – add them to your racing calendar today!:
- Aintree Racecourse Guide
- Ascot Races
- Ayr Racecourse Guide
- Bangor on Dee Racecourse Guide
- Bath Racecourse Guide
- Beverley Racecourse Guide
- Brighton Racecourse Guide
- Carlisle Racecourse Guide
- Cartmel Racecourse Guide
- Catterick Racecourse Guide
- Chelmsford City Racecourse Guide
- Cheltenham Racecourse Guide
- Chepstow Racecourse Guide
- Chester Racecourse Guide
- Doncaster Racecourse Guide
- Epsom Racecourse Guide
- Exeter Racecourse Guide
- Fakenham Racecourse Guide
- Ffos Las Racecourse Guide
- Fontwell Racecourse Guide
- Goodwood Racecourse Guide
- Great Yarmouth Racecourse Guide
- Hamilton Racecourse Guide
- Haydock Racecourse Guide
- Hereford Racecourse Guide
- Hexham Racecourse Guide
- Huntingdon Racecourse Guide
- Kelso Racecourse Guide
- Kempton Park Racecourse Guide
- Leicester Racecourse Guide
- Lingfield Park Racecourse Guide
- Ludlow Racecourse Guide
- Market Rasen Racecourse Guide
- Musselburgh Racecourse Guide
- Newbury Racecourse Guide
- Newcastle Racecourse Guide
- Newmarket Racecourse Guide
- Newton Abbot Racecourse Guide
- Nottingham Racecourse Guide
- Perth Racecourse Guide
- Plumpton Racecourse Guide
- Pontefract Racecourse Guide
- Redcar Racecourse Guide
- Ripon Racecourse Guide
- Salisbury Racecourse Guide
- Sandown Racecourse Guide
- Sedgefield Racecourse Guide
- Southwell Racecourse Guide
- Stratford Racecourse Guide
- Taunton Racecourse Guide
- Thirsk Racecourse Guide
- Towcester Racecourse
- Uttoxeter Racecourse Guide
- Warwick Racecourse Guide
- Wetherby Racecourse Guide
- Wincanton Racecourse Guide
- Windsor Racecourse Guide
- Wolverhampton Racecourse Guide
- Worcester Racecourse Guide
- York Races