One of the UK’s biggest summer horse racing spectacles, the Qatar Goodwood Festival, will be held behind closed doors this year from July 28-August 1 due to sanctions prompted by the current pandemic. Famous for its scenic surroundings, the festival is the only summer festival offering its audience a view from the top of an Iron Age hill fort while the uneven, downhill finish makes for a special crescendo.
Circumstances nearly made it so that the five-day event was completely bypassed in 2020 but it will go on, fortunately, just without folks in attendance – save the final day. The organizers invite fans to tune in from home and celebrate #GloriousAtHome, with “competitions, activities, and exciting ways to get involved” being touted. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has also announced that August 1 will allow for 5,000 select spectators as the festival will be one of the events used to test the safe return of crowds to sporting events. Goodwood members will make up for 4,000 of the viewing party while the other 1,000 will consist of owners, stable staff, trainers, racing officials, media, and 100 limited hospitality guests.
The event will be held at the Goodwood racecourse, close to Chichester in West Sussex, and fans can tune in to ITV Racing to get in on the action. The festival offers five days of racing, with the Goodwood Cup kicking things off on Tuesday, July 28. That will be followed up by the Sussex Stakes, Nassau Stakes, King George’s Stakes and Steward’s Cup. The Goodwood Cup and Sussex Stakes are considered to be the biggest of the races by many.
The Goodwood Festival will also present numerous opportunities for betting and folks can peruse the best betting offers and odds on their favorites at the Goodwood festival 2020. Last year’s Goodwood Cup winner, John Gosden’s Stradivarius, is the 4/9 favorite to win said race again with Bet365 after claiming the crown three years in a row but faces a new challenge in Aidan O’Brien’s Royal Ascot and Irish Derby champion Santiago. William Hill is offering 11/4 on the O’Brien ace.
Nayef Road is 12/1 with Paddy Power, who will allow bettors who have accounts with them to view all of the races not offered by free-to-air TV for free via their website or app. The bookmakers are also handing out odds of 16/1 on Spanish Mission. Per betting stats, just over three-quarters of punts have gone in the direction of Stradivarius, with Santiago the second-highest bet-on participant.
Where the Sussex Stakes is concerned, Siskin is the bookmakers’ favorite to win; 888sport is offering odds of 13/8 to that end while Mohaather is next in line to win at 5/2 with William Hill. Kameko is currently at 3/1 with Bet Victor, Circus Maximus is 6/1 with Bet365, and Wichita is 7/1 with Paddy Power.
William Hill is one of the only sportsbooks with odds on offer for the King George Stakes. They’ve posted odds of 1/2 on favorite Battaash, 5/1 on Art Power, 10/1 on Liberty Beach, and 12/1 on Aali. Battaash, the competition’s first three-time winner, is unrivaled therein and will take some stopping.
The 2020 Qatar Goodwood Festival promises to be an entertaining affair, despite the unavoidable changes, and will give sports fans even more opportunities for betting given the slow return to such activity post the outbreak of the coronavirus. It will be especially interesting to see how things work out on the final day of the event, which could prove to be a great barometer where it pertains to fans safely returning to live sports.