Glorious Goodwood Betting

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The Goodwood Racecourse is situated five miles north of Chichester, West Sussex, where horse racing has been conducted since 1801. That’s when the third Duke of Richmond established a course called The Harroway on Goodwood Estate.

It was not until after World War Two, however, that Goodwood’s fortunes took off and its July meetings caught national attention. By 1953, some 55,000 spectators gathered for the annual running of the Glorious Goodwood, a five-day event that soon became a highlight of the British flat racing calendar.

In the years since, the track has seen many changes, including relocations of its Parade Ring and Weighing Room. The current March Stand replaced the old Stand in 1979, the Charlton Stand opened in the 1980s, and the Sussex Stand was completed in 1990.

Today, Goodwood Racecourse features an unusually complex six furlongs known as the “Stewards’ Cup Course,” so named for one of the most competitive handicaps of the season. The initial furlong rises steadily and the remainder of the run is mostly downhill. Other courses here include the 1-mile 2-furlong “Craven Course,” the 1-mile 4-furlong “Gratwicke Course,” and the 1-mile 6-furlong “Bentinck Course.” Extensions also allow for 2-mile 5-furlong racing on the “Cup Course,” marked by severe undulations and sharp turns.

Race Days at Goodwood

The annual Glorious Goodwood meeting is home to two of the U.K.’s 31 Group One flat races, the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes. They are surrounded by five days of relaxed socialising on the Sussex downs, including picnics in the car parks and on the hill that overlooks the track and serves as informal grandstand. There are top quality fashion events as well as racing, offering something for everyone—an occasion not to be missed.

The Glorious Goodwood festival takes place roughly six week after the Royal Ascot meeting, attracting top horses for unmatched Group 1 action. The main events on each of the race days include the betfair Cup over seven furlongs on the first day, quickly followed by the much anticipated Sussex Stakes on Wednesday for the best milers in Europe.

Ladies Day features the meeting’s oldest race, the Group 2 Goodwood Cup, along with the Audi Stake for the sprinters. On Friday, the Totesport Mile is held, ranked among the most valuable races in Europe. The day’s card also features the Oak Tree Stakes and the Group 2 Richmond Stakes. And on the final day, the Nassau Stakes and the Steward Cup are run. It all makes for plenty of betting opportunities—some 35 of them in all.

Wagering and Free Bets

Prior to the staging of each year’s Glorious Goodwood meeting, leading online bookmakers post their odds for comparison directly on the racecourse’s web site. This makes it very easy for would-be bettors to hunt for the best prices for each of the many races that take place.

Interest is always especially high in the fluctuating odds for the Sussex Stakes, Totesport Mile, Richmond Stakes, Nassau Stakes, and the Steward Cup. Tote placepots and tote jackpots are also posted for consideration each day.

Bookmakers compete for business, of course, and one way in which they seek to attract new customers is through free bets. Indeed, the Goodwood Racecourse authorities encourage the offering of free bets via the web site and negotiate Glorious Goodwood specials on behalf of the festival’s fans.

In 2010, for example, paddy Power offered to match any bet made up to £100 on any horse in any race during the five days of competition. bet365 countered with a £zero free bet, and they were not alone in the chase. william hill, Totesport, and ladbrokes pitched in with £25 apiece in free bets. boylesports offered £40 worth, and Victor Chandler put up £75. That’s an incredible £490 in risk-free wagering.

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