Goodwood’s Qatar partnership: The industry reacts to megabucks deal

Here’s how the racing industry reacted to news of Goodwood racecourse’s ten-year megabucks deal with Qatar to sponsor its showpiece five-day festival, which they will call the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Crowds enjoy Glorious Goodwood in 2014  Picture by Kate Shemilt C140777-20
Crowds enjoy Glorious Goodwood in 2014 Picture by Kate Shemilt C140777-20

Chris McFadden, Chairman of British Champions Series Limited, said: “This new and significant investment in the Sussex Stakes is an extremely positive development for the QIPCO British Champions Series.

“One of the reasons the Series was created was to increase the value of British Horseracing’s major races. Since the Series was launched in 2011, Newmarket, Epsom, Ascot, Newbury and now Goodwood have entered into long-term commercial deals that enable the racecourses to build prize money and maintain Britain’s important reputation as home of the best racing in the world.

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“We congratulate Qatar and Goodwood on this landmark sponsorship and thank QIPCO for enabling it.”

Frankie Dettori said: “I have always found Goodwood one of the most exciting courses to ride at and for me it makes it even more special that Qatar will be sponsors of the Goodwood Festival. The hospitality and racing at Goodwood is world class and this should be the icing on the cake.”

John Gosden said: “Both a timely and magnificent sponsorship arrangement for Goodwood which puts their Festival meeting on a true international standing.” 

Richard Hannon, Cchampion trainer, said: “This new Qatari sponsorship is absolutely fantastic news for British horseracing and in particular Goodwood. The sponsorship demonstrates the attraction commercially that Horseracing in this country holds. We have always had plenty of runners going to Glorious Goodwood and this will only encourage us to target the race meeting more and more.”

Steve Harman, chairman of the British Horseracing Authority, said: “This announcement is great news for British Racing and for Goodwood. Qatar and the UK have a long and strong history - Qatar has become one of the UK’s biggest trade partners. Racing is following similar lines - and this move yet again showcases the attraction of our great sport and the unique quality of the Goodwood experience - led by one of the sport’s great entrepreneurs and innovators - Lord March. On behalf of British Racing I would like to thank Qatar Equestrian Federation for this amazing support.” 


Here’s how last year’s prize money for the big Goodwood races has been increased for 2015 thanks to the Qatar deal.

The Qatar Lennox Stakes, Group 2, 7f, £150,000 to £300,000

The Qatar Vintage Stakes, Group 2, 7f, £80,000 to £200,000

The Qatar Sussex Stakes, Group 1, 1m, £300,000 to £1m

The Qatar Richmond Stakes, Group 2, 6f, £80,000 to £200,000

The Qatar Goodwood Cup, Group 2, 2m, £120,000 to £300,000

The Qatar King George Stakes, Group 2, 5f, £100,000 to £300,000

The Qatar Nassau Stakes, Group 1, 1m2f, £200,000 to £600,000

The Qatar Stewards’ Cup (Handicap), 6f, £100,000 to £250,000