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Qatar extends Glorious Goodwood sponsorship

QATAR RACING has announced they will be continuing their sponsorship of the Glorious Goodwood festival, after speculation that they were potentially looking at pulling out of the deal. Al Shaqab Racing founder Sheikh Joaan Al Thani agreed to a 10-year deal back in 2014 but insisted on including a five-year break clause.

A meeting was called between Goodwood’s owner and Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club Chairman, Issa bin Mohammed Al-Mohannadi on Tuesday, to discuss whether or not Qatar would be walking away from the deal. Fortunately for British racing, an agreement was made between the two and Qatar Racing will at least be the main sponsor of the Glorious Goodwood festival until 2024, with 2019's edition to take place in July.

The sponsorship is the biggest deal ever made in British racing history, with millions of pounds being invested, helping to increase the festival prize money. The Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes is worth a total of £1m in prize money, which is why plenty of top jockeys and trainers head to Goodwood hoping to come out on top.

Our attention now turns to what will be happening on the turf and Frankie Dettori will be hoping he can match his incredible Royal Ascot form this time around. The flying jockey won seven races in total, landing him the Top Jockey award. Day three was his time in the sun, winning four races in a row, only to be chinned on the line, preventing him from walking away with five on the day. Aiden O'Brien will want to continue his fine form this season. He enters his Classic winners, Hermosa and Channel, into the £600,000 G1 Qatar Nassau Stakes, the highlight of Ladies Day.

O'Brien is no stranger to the Nassau Stakes, a contest over ten furlongs, having previously won the race on five occasions. The trainer has a total of 33 horses entered for 2019's Glorious Goodwood festival, 13 more than last year. The best horse racing tips for the festival and all ante-post racing pricing can be found at Betfair.

But Aiden O'Brien certainly won't have it all his own way, with Sir Michael Stoute looking to win it for a record-breaking eighth time. His best chance is with Rawdaa, who came second in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes. Veracious, Sun Maiden and Ribblesdale complete Stoute's four-pronged attack to land the Nassau Stakes.

You can't talk about Glorious Goodwood without mentioning Stradivarius, winner of the Qatar Goodwood Cup in 2017 and 2018. He couldn't have better form coming into the race, having linked up with Dettori to land the Royal Ascot Gold Cup in his last appearance. That was the five-year-old's seventh win on the bounce and he will once again take some serious stopping if he isn't to make it eight from eight.

Mark Johnston's Dee Ex Bee was unable to land a blow against Stradivarius at Royal Ascot but finished an impressive second, and many of his followers will be keen to see how he will fair in the Qatar Goodwood Cup. He may well play second fiddle to Stradivarius once again, but he is certainly within a chance if John Gosden's horse is to have a rare off day.

Qatar Racing extending its sponsorship with Goodwood is great news for racing and with plenty of Group 1 racing to look forward to at the festival, this announcement could not have come at a perfect time for everyone involved within the sport.

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