It’s fair to assume that everyone had Saturday’s glorious sunshine in mind when they walked out onto the Goodwood grandstands on Sunday. Through the wet and the wind, there was a fabulous day of racing to be had, and NetBet was there in style to represent their sponsored races and ring out the last day of the season.
Our people were everywhere at the Goodwood racecourse this Sunday. We were on the March Grandstand cheering on our horses, in the betting ring having mixed success picking winners, and sometimes even braving the rain to venture right up to the finish line. In the parade ring, we scrutinized each entry to award the Best Turned Out Horses, before seeing how they fared from the Duke of Richmond balcony and handing trophies to the winning owners. If we ever got a moment to rest, we were probably enjoying one of the ales in the bar or warming up with a hot chocolate.
Best of all was seeing NetBet’s own Dominic Trant giving his tips on TV before the racing got started!
While the weather kept the numbers down, it was still a day marked by the excitement of a surprise winner. Until the fourth race, it seemed like it was going to be a day for the favourites with Jam Session, Chairman Of The Board, and Sparklealot winning the trophies winning the first three events. But then, in the NetBet Golden Goal British EBF Novice Stakes, The Pink’N won. The 33/1 outlier beat the favourite, Mister Chiang, by three-quarters of a length, with jockey, Rob Hornby, denying Silvestre De Sousa the win.
The following race, the Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group Handicap, brought a pall over the day with the fall of the favourite, Dubawi Prince ridden by Andrea Atzeni. The soft going, thanks to the weather, saw horses pulling out of races all day fearing that very outcome. The mid-race fall left Atzeni with scrapes that had to be treated by Goodwood medical staff, but he fared better than Dubawi Prince. It was later confirmed that the horse’s injuries were fatal.
The last two races of the day were back to back wins for Oisin Murphy on Alaadel and Macaque respectively. Both were his first wins of the day on horses with favourable odds. Some of the crowds had dissipated by this point of the day, driven indoors by the weather, but there was a clutch of true horseracing fans gathered at the finish line to see the champion rider to victory and dodge the odd clod of mud.
By the time the last horse crossed the finish line, everyone who wanted to see the last day of the horseracing season for 2018 left the racecourse feeling satisfied. Even those of us who lost money were happy to be a part of a day that wasn’t to be missed, despite the weather.