Goodwood's Three Friday Nights are off - but one may be held later in year

Goodwood's series of Three Friday Nights are the latest big events to be called off in the coronavirus pandemic.

Goodwood's Three Friday Nights is always a big draw / Picture: Clive Bennett
Goodwood's Three Friday Nights is always a big draw / Picture: Clive Bennett

The British Horse Racing Authority has now extended to the end of June its ruling that any horse racing fixtures that can go ahead will do so behind closed doors.

Goodwood had already lost its May 2 season opener altogether - as that falls within the current extension to the lockdown and ban on any public gatherings - while the best hope for its three-day May Festival, from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30, is that it may be possible to run behind closed doors.

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Now the BHA has extended its closed-doors-only policy through June, that means the racecourse's popular Three Friday Nights - which involve evening horse racing followed by a 90-minute set by a top name from the DJ and dance music world - won't happen.

Revellers enjoy the Disciples DJ set last year / Picture: Clive Bennett

At best, they could in theory be run as racing-only events but not in public, which may mean the actual racing being staged at a different time of day.

It follows last week's pledge by Goodwood chiefs that they will do all they can to save Glorious Goodwood while admitting it is out of their hands.

The Three Friday Nights had been lined up for June 5, 12 and 19.

Goodwood's family raceday - planned for Sunday, June 7 - will also be behind closed doors at best.

Bosses have decided to switch one of the Friday nights - featuring a DJ set by Sub Focus, who had been due to appear on June 12 - to August 28, when racing will be staged as the opening event in the three-day August Festival. The music will replace the traditional fireworks display normally held on that opening night of the August Festival.

Goodwood staff have confirmed Carl Cox - who was due to star at the opening TFN evening this year - will now open next year's series, while they are negotiating with Mike Skinner, who was lined up for the June 19 fixture, for one of the other Friday nights in the 2021 series.

A message has gone out to racecourse members about fixture changes which says of the switch of the Sub Focus night to August: "This event will replace our traditional racing and fireworks display, and we are sorry if this disappoints some of you. The remainder of the Bank Holiday weekend fixture, including all the racing, will remain unchanged."

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