Qatar Sussex Stakes returns to £1m mark as Goodwood pledges prize-money boost
Goodwood has restored the prize-funds of its three Group 1 races to pre-coronavirus levels, with the £1 million Sussex Stakes once again the centrepiece of the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July.
The Goodwood Cup will again be worth £500,000 and the Nassau Stakes will be run for £600,000, while more than £4.8m will be offered in total prize-money across the five days of the Glorious meeting.
The news follows recent announcements in a similar vein from York – where the Group 1s at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival will all be run for their 2019 levels – as well as Ascot and Epsom.
The last pre-pandemic meeting was worth £5.5m but given Goodwood is coming off the back of a blank year in terms of attendance, the announcement still marks a significant investment in the top end of the sport.
"Prize-money is incredibly important for our owners whose commitment and support we value tremendously," said Goodwood's managing director of events, Adam Waterworth. "They are vital to the livelihood of the sport, and we're delighted to be able to return our feature races to the levels we ran them in 2019.
"The last 12 months have been extremely challenging for the business as a whole with severe financial hardships. However, despite revenues remaining challenging and the uncertainty around crowd numbers at some of our fixtures, investment in prize-money has always been a priority for Goodwood, and we accept our role in trying to ensure the higher-rated horses remain in training in this country, whilst also striving to attract some of the best thoroughbreds from further afield.
"We are incredibly grateful to our official title partner, the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, without whose support we would not have been able to offer these levels of prize-money, and our other sponsors, broadcast, and betting media partners."
Glorious Goodwood will be a landmark week for many racing fans this summer given the anticipation that the five-day fixture will be played out in front of full houses from July 27-31.
Waterworth added: "Goodwood is very much looking forward to getting racing underway this season. We will be welcoming limited spectators to the racecourse across May and June, when admission is likely to be limited to members, although hospitality experiences will be open to all.
"Ticket sales have been phenomenal for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. It's one of the best on sales we have known, and all being well, we anticipate hosting racegoers at pre-pandemic capacities come the end of July."
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