WATCH Keeping Goodwood green for Glorious - and going international
Plenty of people have enjoyed the recent hot, dry spell - Goodwood clerk of the course Ed Arkell isn't one of them.
The lack of rain has brought a lot of hard work for him and the groundstaff at the racecourse on the South Downs as they've battled to keep the track - which will next week host some of the world's best racehorses - green and lush.
But they've done it, and they'll carry on keeping it in tip-top condition through the five days of racing, which get under way on Tuesday.
See what Arkell has to say about the ground and about entries for all the big races next week in our interview in the video player above.
Arkell is also delighted to see a growing number of international runners in the Goodwood entry lists.
It looks like there will be runners from Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic, Norway, Sweden, France and of course Ireland among all the UK contenders during five fabulous days of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
That’s testament to the work and travel that Arkell, Goodwood events MD Adam Waterworth and others at the racecourse have embarked upon over a number of years to ‘sell’ the Goodwood experience to connections of top racehorses across the world.
"We do a lot to try to attract horses from all the leading racing nations to the festival,” Arkell said. “It’s not easy and it takes time but certainly the entries we know about for next week indicate that that work is paying off big-time.
"It will be fantastic for the Goodwood crowd to see some international runners in many of our top-rated races.”
Japanese horse Bathrat Leon is set to be the first runner from that particular flat-racing hotbed to run in the feature race of the week, the £1m Qatar Sussex Stakes. Some think the fast-starting horse has an outside chance, at least of a place. It follows the Nassau Stakes victory of Deirdre a few years ago that helped spread the Goodwood word in Japan.
Arkell said Goodwood were delighted at the quality and quantity of entries across the week’s races seen so far. "I think we can safely say we can look forward to each day’s big feature race but also to the supporting cast of other races. There will be a really strong flow to the week and we can’t wait to get started now.”