Glorious Goodwood latest: Public won't be allowed in

Goodwood Racecourse bosses have announced that Glorious Goodwood will take place without a public crowd. But they are hoping some racecourse members may be allowed to attend.

The sights and sounds of Glorious Goodwood will be very different this year / Picture: Tommy McMillan

We reported last week that the five-day flat racing spectacle had survived in a British Horsearcing Authority list of fixtures that could take place in the coming weeks but at that time Goodwood bosses were still hopeful some sort of crowd may be allowed.

But today Goodwood said it would not be a public event - dashing the hopes of many who had hoped perhaps a small number of racing fans may be permitted.

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Asked whether some annual racecourse members may be allowed into the racecourse in festival week, Goodwood said: "We are continuing to explore whether there could be an opportunity for members to attend Glorious, but it will depend, of course, on on-going Government and BHA advice."

The Qatar Goodwood Festival takes place from July 28 to August 1 as planned, but without a crowd

Goodwood's statement today (June 2) said: "Following the latest announcement from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) that racing may resume behind closed doors from 1 June, Goodwood Racecourse has announced that its flagship fixture, the Qatar Goodwood Festival, will run from 28 July to 1 August as scheduled, but it will not be a publicly attended event.

"The venue, which is running its first fixture of the year behind closed doors on 14 and 15 June, is working closely with the sport’s governing body, the British Horseracing Authority, along with following the guidance of Government and Public Health England, to ensure that all those involved in the event are safe. Rigorous risk assessments and new procedures are being put in place to safeguard jockeys, trainers and racecourse staff."

Racecourse General Manager Jon Barnett, said: “It’s obviously hugely disappointing not to be in a position to welcome our many local, national and international visitors to our ‘Glorious’ week this summer.

"As anyone who has attended the event will know, it is an incredible spectacle. However, we are thrilled to be able to race and ITV will be covering the event so that everyone can watch the key races and highlights on television during the week.

"We remain hopeful that we can run our later fixtures, including August Bank Holiday, with the public in attendance and continue to work with the advice and guidance of the BHA to ensure the sport is run safely for all concerned.”

Customers who have already bought tickets or hospitality for the festival have been contacted and given a range of options for their booking including a full refund.

As the lockdown gradually eases, Goodwood is looking at how it can safely open its facilities and sports activities. The golf courses, motor circuit and aerodrome are now partially opened for approved activities and it is hoped that further relaxation by the Government in July will allow the hospitality venues such as The Kennels, the Goodwood Hotel and the restaurants to re-open.