Glorious Goodwood

When the dust settles on one of the biggest meetings on the racing calendar, Royal Ascot, attention is turned to the Glorious Goodwood meeting, one of the highlights of the summer for all flat racing enthusiasts. The venue for the Glorious meeting is the picturesque Goodwood racecourse, located just five miles north of Chichester, West Sussex, and is the destination and stage for one of the social highlights of the summer, topped with brilliant flat racing action, featuring marquee races such as the Stewards' Cup, King George Stakes and the prestigious Goodwood Cup.

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Along with the races that have made the Glorious Goodwood meeting a permanent feature of the racing calendar in England, the meeting also stages two of the UK's Group One flat races, the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes.

Dubbed 'The World's Most Beautiful Racecourse', Goodwood has a long and esteemed history, a heritage dating back 200 years, and has played a major role in the success of British racing. The Goodwood estate was launched as a flat horse racing course by the third Duke of Richmond in 1802, in a benefit to the officers of the Sussex Militia (Infantry Regiment of the British Army), in which he was Colonel. The Duke himself won on a horse called Cedar on the very first day of the two-day meeting, and following a brief pause during the second World War, Goodwood and the Glorious meeting hasn't looked back since, with 55,000 spectators attending the July meeting in 1953.

The Goodwood track received Royal approval in 1980, as Her Majesty the Queen opened the award-winning March stand, following the demolition of the old stand a year earlier. Further improvements which can be seen today took place between 1989 and 1990, with the new Charlton Stand, and with legendary commentator and journalist Sir Peter O'Sullevan OBE opening the newly built Sussex Stand.

With the popularity of Glorious Goodwood's five-day meeting at an all-time high, Monsterbet takes a look at the races that have made the meeting the colourful spectacle it is today, with a look at the horses, trainer's and jockeys that have shone under the sunny skies of the July meeting. We take a peek at the betting at the Glorious meeting, and have all the information you need, to get your hands on the latest and biggest free bet offers for Goodwood's feature meeting.

The Goodwood Cup

Although bigger races are held during the five-day Glorious Goodwood meeting, in terms of Group status, the Group Two Goodwood Cup is one of the features of the meeting, open to horses three years or older, and is run over two miles. The Goodwood Cup was established along with the racecourse in 1808, although in 1812, the winning prize was upgraded to a gold cup rather than the silver trophy that was awarded to winning connections for the preceding four years. Along with the trophy, the race itself has developed over the years, the current two mile distance of the Goodwood Cup has been scaled down from it's original distance of three miles in the founding years.

The Goodwood Cup's Group status has also interchanged over the years, from it's first grade of Group Two status in 1971, the race was dropped to Group Three level in 1985, but regained it's current status of a Group Two contest in 1995, and remains so to this day.

The Goodwood Cup that is traditionally held on the third-day of the meeting, has been won by iconic names of the jockey's weighing room, including multiple winners Pat Eddery, Lester Piggott and George Fordham. Speaking of multiple winners, the Goodwood Cup was won no less than three times by it's most successful winner, the Mark Johnston-trained Double Trigger, in 1995, 1997 and 1998, ridden to victory by three different men in the saddle, Jason Weaver, Michael Roberts and Darryll Holland.

In modern times, the name that stands-out to racing fans on the roll-call of winners of the Goodwood Cup, is the Aidan O'Brien superstar Yeats, who won the race under Michael Kinane in 2006, and again in 2008 under Johnny Murtagh. Yeats' name is synonymous with British racing heritage, along with his two Goodwood Cup triumphs, the stallion won four consecutive Ascot Gold Cup's (2006,2007,2008,2009), a Coronation Cup in 2005 and the Irish St. Leger in 2007.

Stewards' Cup

Another staple of the Glorious Goodwood meeting is the spectacle of the Stewards' Cup, run over the sprint distance of six furlongs. The handicap race opened to horses aged three years and up, is currently pencilled into the opening day of the five-day meeting, although this hasn't always been the case. The Stewards' Cup was for many years a feature on the concluding final day of the meeting, but moved to it's current standing in the line-up in 1993.

The Stewards' Cup has an interesting background, as for several of the early years in the 1830's, the award of the Steward's Cup was handed out by a senior working steward at the Glorious Goodwood meeting, to the winner of varying races each year, until 1839, when Lord George Bentinck introduced a race over six furlongs for the Steward's Cup, which took place for the first time the following summer.

Each year, the Stewards' Cup is considered to be an opening heat from a betting perspective, with large competitive fields lining up to contest the starlight six furlong sprint. The competitiveness of the race is demonstrated by the starting prices of the winning runners in it's history. The biggest winning SP of the Stewards' Cup in the modern era is shared between Brian Swift's Ahonoora in 1978, and Peter Calver's Madraco in 1987, who both shared a 50/1 starting price.

In recent times, the William Haggas-trained Conquest won the 2008 renewal at an SP of 40/1, while sprint master trainer David Nicholls saddled Evens And Odds to victory at a starting price of 20/1 in 2010. If the Stewards' Cup has taught us punters anything over the years, its not to be afraid of backing the big price selections in open-looking, big field handicaps.

Glorious Goodwood Betting & Free Bets

Glorious Goodwood betting is notoriously open and competitive, with large fields and complicated handicaps, but the challenge of picking the winner of such races is what punters betting on Glorious Goodwood enjoy the most. Not many of the races held during the five-day meeting are priced up prior to Glorious Goodwood in the ante-post markets, largely due to the draw which takes place only day's prior to the meeting, that has a huge impact on a horses chances. The races that bookmakers tend to price-up in the Glorious Goodwood betting ante-post markets are the Group One races, the Sussex Stakes and Nassau Stakes.

With Monsterbet, we make Glorious Goodwood betting much simpler, by telling you how you can get your hands on the latest and biggest free bet offers. You can use our previews and expert opinions to select the winner of the Goodwood Cup or the King George Stakes, and back your selection using one of our free bets.

We've even put together a list of our top recommend bookmakers for Glorious Goodwood betting and betting on Horse racing in general, so follow the links and banners on site, and we'll take you to the doorstep of the bookmakers we recommend you use for the biggest and best free bet offers, promotions and concessions.

King George Stakes

The King George Stakes is yet another race that features prominently at the Glorious Goodwood meeting, and holds Group Two status. The race which is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older is run at the minimum distance of five furlongs, and is currently staged on the fourth day of the five-day meeting.

Inaugurated in 1911, the King George Stakes race was founded to commemorate the crowning and coronation of King George V. When the grading system for horse races were introduced in 1971, the five furlong sprint was given a Group Three classification, and for many years, this is how the race remained, until 2010, when the King George Stakes at the July meeting was promoted to Group Two stature.

The history, prestige and importance of the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood was boosted by the best-known and much loved English flat jockey Lester Piggott. Nicknamed as 'The Long Fellow' Piggott's esteemed career included 11 British Champion Jockey titles, nine Epsom Derby triumphs, six Epsom Oaks wins, five 2,000 and two 1,000 Guineas race wins, eight St. Leger Stakes crowns, and is the jockey that holds the most King George Stakes wins at the July meeting. Winning his first aboard Right Boy in 1958, Lester Piggott dominated the race with a total of nine wins, the last coming in 1984, where he rode Anita's Prince to victory for trainer Richard Lister.

In recent years, the King George Stakes has been won by the Australian sprinter Ortensia in 2012, and has been captured by high-profile trainers in the ranks, including Sir Michael Stoute in 2009 with Kingsgate Native. Leading names of the weighing-room have also added their title to the roll-call of winners, including multiple Champion Jockey Ryan Moore, Kieren Fallon, Jamie Spencer and Frankie Dettori, who won the race back-to-back in 1993 and 1994, with the Ian Balding-trained Lochsong.

Sussex Stakes

The first of two Group One contests held at the Glorious Goodwood meeting is the Sussex Stakes. Once more, the race is open to horses aged three years and up, the Sussex Stakes is run over one mile, and is the feature race of day two of the five-day July meeting.

The first running of the Sussex Stakes was in 1841, where a field of two-year-olds lined up to contest the race over the sprint trip of six-furlongs. The Sussex Stakes was then run intermittently for the next 37 years, however was uncontested on 25 occasions. In 1878, the race was upped in trip to it's current distance of one mile, and has since become the marquee and featured race of the five-day Glorious Goodwood meeting.

The Sussex Stakes has been graced with the elite from the horse racing world, from Champion horses, owners, trainers and jockeys, but none more so than the most successful trainer of the Sussex Stakes, the late Sir Henry Cecil. Cecil's love affair with the Sussex Stakes was clear to see, and brought about seven race victories. The legendary Warren Place trainer saddled his first winner of the race in 1975, in the form of Bolkonski. Sir Henry Cecil won it again at year later with Wollow (1976), again in 1979 with the wonderful Kris, Distant View took the crown in 1994, Ali-Royal won the big race two years later in 1997, but the most famous, and the horse that will arguably go down as the best horse to ever meet a race track, let alone the Sussex Stakes at the Glorious Goodwood meeting, was Frankel, who won the race back-to-back in 2011 and 2012. Frankel's performances in the Sussex Stakes will live long in the memory, as will the training career, achievements and life of Sir Henry Cecil.

Preceding the mighty Frankel, Champion horses such as Canford Cliffs, trained by Richard Hannon and ridden by Richard Hughes won the race in 2010, and the Aidan O'Brien pair Henrythenavigator and Rip Van Winkle won the Sussex Stakes in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Nassau Stakes

The second of the Group One races held during the Glorious Goodwood meeting is the Nassau Stakes, run over one mile and a furlong, for fillies and mares aged years and up. The Nassau Stakes is yet another prime race staged at Goodwood, and currently takes centre stage on the final day of the five-day Glorious meeting.

The history of the Nassau Stakes dates back to 1840, the race that was upgraded in status in 1999 from Group Two to Group One level was given the title of the Nassau Stakes, to mark the friendship of the 5th Duke of Richmond (former owner of the Goodwood racecourse), and the House of Orange-Nassau (political and government ties to the Netherlands).

As with Sussex Stakes, the history of the Nassau Stakes has been largely dominated by Sir Henry Cecil, the most successful winning trainer of the race, largely down to Midday's three consecutive wins in the race (2009, 2010, 2011). The master of Warren Place who had a special touch with fillies, also trained Roussalka to two back-to-back victories in 1975 and 1976, along with race successes for Connaught Bridge (1979), Norn de Plume (1987) and Lyphard's Delta (1993).

Preceding the hat-trick of wins of Midday in the Nassau Stakes, Sir Michael Stoute achieved his own rare hat-trick, winning the race in three consecutive years with three different horses, all ridden by multiple Champion Jockey Kieren Fallon, Islington (2002), Russian Rhythm (2003) and Favourable Terms (2004).