Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A day at the races!

Glorious Goodwood is the premier race meeting in the season's calender. The garden party of English racing. It's the place to see and be seen, and I went yesterday!

Eight of us met at my friend's country pub, the Five Ashes Inn, for coffee and brandy early in the morning and awaited the arrival of our limo - a stretched gleaming black Lincoln, in which our driver Derek would drive us across the county to our day at the races.

As we settled into our sumptuous leather chairs, Derek popped the corks on a couple of bottles of champagne, and that set the theme for our journey.

Goodwood race course is set high up in the hills quite close to the city of Chichester.It's position offers a 360 degree panoramic view of the rolling Sussex countryside, and way beyond to the ocean. No wonder it is considered to be the most beautiful racing venue anywhere in the world.

Stunning tent-like grandstands point high into the sky. Acres of grass are given over to outdoor bars awash with champagne, ice cold beer and Pimms. A jazz band plays here, and a steel band there.

In recent years, the dress code has been relaxed, but in the private enclosures, many racegoers still prefer to scrub up, and don their glad rags! The ladies in particular strut like peacocks in brightly coloured dresses set off by designer hats and adorned with feathers. For gentlemen, the ubiquitous Panama hat is the order of the day, along with bright ties and summer suits. I took a middle course with a rather snazzy pale blue cord jacket, cream tailored trousers and a somewhat dashing blue and beige check shirt. Modesty forbids me from displaying my image here!

As usual we opted for a base at a table in the Pimms enclosure. From there we visited the bookies down by the rail to place our bets, and occasionally to collect our winnings. We could climb into the grandstands to join in the frantic shouting as our chosen horses dashed to to the finish - too often at the rear of the field! Nearby was the parade ring where we were are able to get up close to the gleaming horses, and their diminutive jockeys resplendent in their silks of many colours.
As we sat in the blistering heat of the afternoon sun, jug after jug of Pimms Number One arrived at our table. The smell and taste of summer in a drink! Stacks of ice topped with mint leaves, fruit and cucumber. Generous slugs of Pimms, and lashings of sharp lemonade!

Seven races and six losers later it was time to wander back to the limo. Derek popped a few more corks, and champagne flutes in hand, we said goodbye to Glorious Goodwood for another year.

see the rest of my pictures at


  1. Sounds and looks like a fantastic day was had by all Keith! Beautiful setting for a race course too. :)

  2. Another great post. Wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a blog award.


  3. another awesome post and great pics to boot. Sorry to hear of the losses instead of wins at the races better luck next year.

  4. the hats and they sport them very well..

  5. Okay Keith that does it man, will you marry me and take me across the world to the races and beer drinking lol....

  6. Sounds like you had a nice day at the races despite the loses. Great pics, it makes a person feel like they are almost there as well.

  7. It's so sunny over there! What a pick me up! Sounds like you guys know how to par-tay!



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