Racing has returned to Goodwood even if the crowds haven't... Murphy and Marquand score doubles
Thank the Lord! Racing is back at Goodwood.
The first flat action of the season on the Downs began at midday on Sunday, but it did so in front of empty stands.
Only essential racing personnel were allowed inside the racecourse for the first 2020 action at the venue. The same will be true tomorrow (Monday) although Goodwood officials are hoping that by the time Glorious comes around at the end of July, they will be allowed to admit at least a small crowd of racecourse members.
First honours of the season went to Sussex jockey Jim Crowley and trainer Marcus Tregoning, whose 10/11 favourite Asiaaf won the opening race, the Coral Customers Stream UK Racing Free Online Fillies' Novice Stakes.
Tulip Fields (7/1) took the Coral Supporting Prostate Cancer UK Handicap for Joe Fanning and Goodwood's top trainer Mark Johnston, while Lullaby Moon was a surprise 20/1 victor in the Coral Beaten By A Length Free Bet EBF Fillies' Novice Stakes for Charles Bishop and Joseph Tuite.
In-form Hollie Doyle, a recent Goodwood ambassador, won the Coral Beaten By A Length Free Bet Handicap for trainer Archie Watson on 6/1 shot Electric Ladyland.
The first of the afternoon's two listed races, the Coral / British EBF Cathedral Stakes, switched from its normal venue of Salisbury, was taken in fine style by champion jockey Oisin Murphy on 4/1 chance Lyzbeth by three-quarters of a length ahead of Bungee Jump (9/1). The 100/30 favourite Moyassar flopped, coming in last.
Mouriyani (11/1) claimed the Coral Customers Stream UK Racing Free Handicap for the two Toms - jockey Marquand and trainer Ward.
Bright Eyed Eagle (6/4) took the Coral Shops Reopen Tomorrow In England Handicap under Murphy for Ed Walker, getting the better of the favourite Glenties (Fanning/Johnston), who did seem to be hampered by the winner a furlong and a half out.
Emissary was the favourite for the last and biggest race of the day, the listed Coral / British EBF Cocked Hat Stakes, and James Doyle looked like he was going to time a run from the back of the four-strong field nicely but a superb ride by Marquand on the Andrew Balding-trained 8/1 contender Khalifa Sat led to him holding on for the victory.