After a season in which the weather has given us some awful days for racing, we couldn’t have asked for more for our season finale, writes Goodwood racecourse MD Adam Waterworth.
The sun came out – and so did the crowds. We had more than 10,000 through the gates four our last race meeting of the season – 40 per cent up on last season.
It was a lovely end to our summer. We kicked off with a Spitfire display, which brought a lot of people in early, and then had some great racing.
The day was all about John Dunlop as he sent horses to post at his local track for the final time.
He retires at the end of the season and it’s worth highlighting again just what a contribution he has made to racing – and in particular to Goodwood – over more than four decades.
We’d have had a fairytale ending if his runner Estebsaal had won the last race, but Dane O’Neill hadn’t read the script and nicked the win on First Post.
Nevertheless, it was still a good send-off for John – Lord March presented him with a limited-edition print of the Goodwood estate during the afternoon. And I’m sure we’ve not seen the last of him. I expect he’ll still be a regular here.
The other trainer in the news at the meeting was Mark Johnston, who clinched the Dick Hern Trophy, which goes each year to the trainer with the most Goodwood wins.
After a fabulous seven wins at Glorious, his final total was 12 – two more than Richard Hannon, who’d won it for the past four seasons.
Richard’s already told me he’s only lending it to Mark and wants it back in a year’s time!
It’s always a strange time of year at the racecourse. Our next meeting is more than six months away, which seems a long wait.
But after everyone has had a bit of time off we’ll all be straight back and starting to think about our 2013 season.
I’d like to finish this last Diary of the year by thanking everyone who’s supported us this season. I hope you’ve enjoyed the racing as much as we have. And keep reading the Observer over the winter for news from the racecourse.