Tasty starter on menu at Goodwood

Goodwood managing director Adam Waterworth
Goodwood managing director Adam Waterworth
The sun ought to shine for Fontwell's Thursday afternoon racing

Irish raiders among the Fontwell fields

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Adam Waterworth is ready to pour on the style at Goodwood this summer.

And the prestigious West Sussex track’s managing director reckons today’s season-opening card will set the tone for the flat campaign.

This afternoon’s meeting boasts two Listed contests and a string of exciting entries.

Barefoot Lady – fifth in last term’s Nassau Stakes – is the top-rated filly in the Conqueror Stakes.

While the Daisy Warwick Stakes has attracted Sir Henry Cecil’s Vita Nova – runner-up to Blue Bunting in the Yorkshire Oaks in August.

And Goodwood’s chief is hoping the quality on show will be a sign of things to come, as the countdown to the track’s 2012 season is over.

Waterworth said: ‘Everyone at the racecourse just wants to begin what should be a memorable summer.

‘We could have done without quite so much rain all at once but the track is looking in fine condition.

‘It’s always good to get your first meeting of the season under your belt.

‘There are bound to be one or two teething troubles but, hopefully, they’ll be things the public won’t notice.

‘I used to work in jump racing – where there’s not really a close season – so this has been my first full close season.

‘We have been pretty steady in working through the autumn, winter and spring to reach the point where we’re ready to go.

‘And we kick off with an excellent card, including two Listed races – the Daisy Warwick Stakes and Conqueror Stakes.

‘I’m delighted to see Barefoot Lady – one of Richard Fahey’s top horses, who came fifth in the Nassau Stakes at the festival last year – among the entries for the Conqueror. It bodes well for another season of the top trainers and owners giving us great support.’

This afternoon’s meeting clashes with the Guineas card at Newmarket – as well as the FA Cup final, which kicks off at 5.15pm.

But Waterworth has reassured fans of both events they will not be forgotten on the Downs.

‘We’ll be showing the best of the action from the 2,000 Guineas meeting at Newmarket in between our races,’ he said.

‘That finishes just in time for the FA Cup final, which will be on all our screens.

‘I like to think the FA moved the kick-off time to accommodate our racing!’