Goodwood toast to the retirement of Buckley

Goodwood has given the legendary Seamus Buckley a wonderful send-off.

The long-serving clerk of the course retired on Sunday after 23 years looking after the racecourse and its grounds – and after an incredible 51 years in racing.

He has been at Goodwood since 1994, before which he worked at Epsom, home of the Derby.

His career in racing started as a jockey but he had to give up riding after fracturing his skull in a nasty fall.

The Irishman went on to learn grounds maintenance – and racing has been glad of that decision ever since.

If Buckley was one man of the moment, trainer Mark Johnston was another – he was crowned Goodwood’s top trainer of the 2017 season when PJ McDonald rode Teofonic to victory in the Download The App At 188Bet Handicap Stakes, giving the Middleham handler his eighth Goodwood success of the campaign.

The Scot was presented with the Dick Hern Trophy and said he was delighted to win such a title in the south of England, so far from home.

The Hildon Novice Auction Stakes was taken by Silvestre de Sousa - who is set to be crowned champion flat jockey in the next few days - as he guided the David Elsworth-trained 11/8 favourite Lady Dancealot home, who scored by two-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of Kieran Shoemark on Is It Off.

The Goodwood Racehorse Owners’ Group Irish EBF Nursery Handicap Stakes was claimed by Raul Da Silva on Zoraya, for trainer Paul Cole.

There was drama in the Nick Brooks EBF Novice Stakes when a photo could not separate Istanbul Sultan, ridden by Jim Crowley for William Haggas and Loxley, with William Buick on board for Charlie Appleby. It was declared a dead heat.

Success for Hampshire trainer John Bridger – a day after he celebrated his birthday and his 50th wedding anniversary – came in the 188Bet.co.uk Handicap Stakes as Pettochside, ridden by Hollie Doyle, gained his fourth Goodwood win.

The eight-year-old came in at 14/1, winning by a neck from Baron Bolt.

The final race of the afternoon, and of Goodwood’s season, went to 11/4 chance Noble Peace.

– STEVE BONE

More from Sport