This year’s Qatar Festival featured racehorses from more nations than ever before – and was watched by a much bigger global audience.
Bosses at the racecourse have been trying for years to attract more overseas runners and spread Glorious Goodwood to nations not previously familiar with the festival.
And 2022 feels like the year when they have made a big breakthrough on both fronts. Last week’s action – watched by close to 100,000 racegoers in person – featured winners from Ireland and Germany plus runs from horses based in nations including Japan, Sweden, France and Norway.
The top-class racing was shown by some of the world’s best-known TV networks, including, for the first time, ESPN and Disney+ in South America and Sony in India.
Other first-time broadcasters of Glorious included Eclat (14 countries in Asia), NENT (Pan-Europe), Polsat (Poland), Setanta (Baltics and Eurasia), Wedotv (Germany, Switzerland and Austria) and Wasu.TV (China). Goodwood bosses say it will help the quality of the festival carry on increasing as more and more international runners are attracted.
Adam Waterworth, managing director of events at Goodwood, said the Qatar festival felt more global than ever before.
"We’re delighted with how that side of the operation has grown – it has really taken off,” said Waterworth.
"It’s the most international festival we’ve had and to have a winner from Germany, a Swedish horse rated at 150/1 placed in the Stewards’ Cup and the Japanese runner in the Sussex Stakes only just out of the places was fantastic.
"America is another target for us and we had American bloodstock agents here and saying they’d be back with runners.”
The week was capped by Group 1 wins for top trio Kyprios (in the Goodwood Cup), Baaeed (Sussex Stakes) and Nashwa, on whom Hollie Doyle became the first female jockey to win the Nassau Stakes.
On Saturday, Commanche Falls became the first horse since 1968 to win a second Stewards’ Cup. Waterworth said: “We now have some new favourites the crowd will be desperate to see return next year.”