Glorious Goodwood is one of the world’s leading flat race meetings and the festival will take place between the 1st and 5th of August 2023.
There are plenty of races to be excited about, including the King George Stakes, Nassau Stakes, Sussex Stakes, and Goodwood Cup. Before we take a closer look at some of the leading Irish contenders in 2023, we must get to know the racetrack a little better.
The Goodwood Racecourse is in Chichester, West Sussex and in known as a right-handed track. However, for races over 2 miles in length, the runners will also take a left-handed turn early in the race.
The flat course provides the riders with tremendous views of the South Downs and the two main right-handed turns can be found one mile from the start line and on the final bend. The home straight may look like the easiest part of the track from the stands, but many runners have got into trouble on the straight at Goodwood, leading to some dramatic finishes.
Now we come to the first of our Irish horses to watch at the 2023 Glorious Goodwood festival. Soul Sister is expected to compete in the Nassau Stakes and will be up against the favourite, Blue Rose Cen. Soul Sister arrives at Goodwood on the back of a third-place finish in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp in July.
She did well under pressure in the final stages but did not have the pace to challenge the winner. However, good wins in the Musidora Stakes and the Epsom Oaks makes Soul Sister one to watch at Goodwood this year.
Coltrane has enjoyed a fantastic year and has quickly become one of the leading contenders in Group 1 races. Having won the Coral Marathon at Sandown last season, Coltrane went on to win the Group 2 Doncaster Cup and finished second in the British Champions Long Distance Cup. Coltrane ran in the 2022 Goodwood Cup and finish fourth but all three of the horses who finished ahead of Coltrane will not be racing this year.
He finished second in the 2023 Ascot Gold Cup and dropping back down to 2 miles will suit Coltrane as he aims to give the crowd something to cheer about on the opening day of the festival.
The Stewards’ Cup, which will take place on the final day of Glorious Goodwood, looks to be an open race, and includes Irish contender, Orazio. Trained by Charles Hills, the colt started the season full of promise and came out on top in the Weatherbys Digital Solutions Handicap at Newmarket, moving away from the rest of the field in the closing stages of the race.
Moving to Ascot and Orazio looked very comfortable when winning the Peroni Nastro Azzurro “Live Every Moment” Handicap, moving clear of the field to win by over two lengths. Orazio will be challenged by Saint Lawrence, another Irish horse to watch, who finished first in the Wokingham Stakes at Ascot, a race in which Oraziofinished sixth.
These are just some of the Irish horses to watch at Glorious Goodwood and there are sure to be many others who will be confident of tasing success throughout the week.