The Goodwood May Festival – Day Two.

We start the Afternoon with the second day from the May Festival at the lovely Goodwood racecourse, not the Glorious Goodwood, as that is in July, so I will just call it lovely!

Even though Goodwood has been around for so many years, the course only had one meeting a year up to the mid sixties. (that was the ‘Glorious’ one!) So they decided on a meeting in May, which grew into the May Festival in 1970, which the Celebration Mile, and the Predominate Stakes (now Cocked Hat) were the main races.

A nice card today supported by the IBA Handicap over 6 furlongs, and The Cocked Hat Stakes, which is a race that was won by one of my favourite horses who is sadly no longer with us – Rewilding.

So it’s a race that can attract some cream, and The Cocked Hat Stakes is open to three-year-old colts and geldings, over a distance of 1 mile and 3 furlongs.

As with the Height of Fashion Stakes yesterday, this race has also had a name change in 2007, to the Cocked Hat Stakes, named after the kind of hat that Napoléon Bonaparte wore, as well as many other soldiers of the day.

Why?

Dunno!

Originally the race was called the Predominate Stakes after the horse that won the Goodwood Stakes three years on the trot from 1958, and then winning the Goodwood Cup in 1961. Whatta horse, surely they should change it back?!

The race was ‘born’ way back in 1970, and was won by Her Majesty The Queen’s horse – Charlton, who was named after the footballer Bobby Charlton – who went on to win the 1971 Henry II Stakes.

The trip of this race has been tinkered with over the years, but now is run over a distance of 1 mile 3, and is seen as a trial for the Epsom Derby. Today’s tip – Expense Claim, is an up an coming horse, bound to be in the mix.

Goodwood racecourse is a test for a horses versatility – with a large loop at one side, there are severe undulations and sharp turns. There are several courses within the track – The Stewards’ Cup Course – starts up-hill, then drifts downwards.

The longer races can start from the loop, including the 1 mile 2 furlongs – Craven Course, the 1 mile 4 furlongs Gratwicke Course and the 1 mile 6 furlongs Bentinck Course.

The longer 2 mile 5 furlongs Cup Course starts near to the winning post, going around the loop and back!

Hope that’s tidied up any confusion about the differing courses within the course?!

The Jag.

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