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Lexington, Kentucky
THE KING GEORGE & GLORIOUS GOODWOOD
(with an optional day trip for racing on the Channel Island of Jersey)

8 Days, 7 Nights (including one en route)
JULY 25 to AUGUST 1, 2013

4 nights in Windsor, 2 nights at Goodwood
4 to 5 days/evenings of racing at Ascot, Les Landes, Windsor, and Goodwood
Special sightseeing in and from Windsor

 

Day 1
Thur  July 25
Depart the U.S., if not joining the trip from London or elsewhere.
 
 
Day 2
Fri  July 26
Arrive in London. You will be met at the airport and transferred to our accommodation at the Oakley Court Hotel in nearby Windsor, to the west of London. We can also collect you in central London if you’re already there.

The remainder of your arrival day is free for your adjustment and personal activities. Along about 5PM we’ll take advantage of the Oakley Court’s Thames-side location and have our get-acquainted cocktail hour afloat as we cruise for a bit on England’s most famous river.

After our return to the hotel, you can choose to either make it a quiet and early night or join in on the no-host dinner we’ll have booked at a nice in-town Windsor restaurant.

The Oakley CourtTHE OAKLEY COURT. Originally built as a private home in 1859, the hotel sits on 37 acres of landscaped grounds alongside the Thames River. The public spaces offer traditional English country house ambiance and peacefulness, and our deluxe rooms are in a quiet modern wing. There's a gym, sauna-and-steam, and an indoor pool on the property, as well as a short-hole golf course. You can learn more at the hotel's website www.principal-hayley.com/locations/the-oakley-court.aspx. A full English breakfast is included each morning of our stay.

 
 
Day 3
Sat  July 27
This morning you could choose to start slow and concentrate on your handicapping, or you could make a quick hop into Windsor for some early exploration. (We'll be having a more organized look at Windsor on Monday.)

In the Stretch at AscotLate morning we're off to Ascot for our first big day of racing. Today's feature is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, annually one of the most significant races of the entire European season. The twelve-furlong "King George" is always a factor in determining the year's champions, and it's often the occasion for the leading 3-year-olds to take the first crack at their elders. The list of winners is a "Who's Who" of post-war European racing that includes Ribot, Ballymoss, Match II, Mill Reef, Brigadier Gerard, Shergar, Nashwan, Lammtarra, Daylami, Montjeu, Galileo, and most recently the Arc-winning champion filly Danedream. It's also a "win-and-you're-in" race for the Breeders' Cup Turf.

We'll have premier enclosure credentials, allowing us access to a restricted seating area with good viewing of the big event and a typically strong Ascot undercard.

Following the racing we'll motor over to nearby Cheapside for a Racing-Europe tradition: a post-Ascot no-host dinner at the 400-year-old Thatched Tavern, a local landmark and a place where we always have a lot of fun. We can arrange a direct transfer back to the hotel for any who would prefer to be on their own.

 
 
Day 4
Sun  July 28
Today is "officially" an OPEN DAY for you to use as you please, and if you'd like to be left alone you could hang at the Oakley Court, go into London for the day, or poke around Windsor and environs independently. There's racing again at Ascot, although this Sunday card will be without a major contest.

We'll be offering two interesting options for those who'd like something a bit more organized for the day:

If you can't get enough racing, and are up for something out of the ordinary, we'll be making a day trip to the Island of Jersey in the English Channel. The Channel Islands, although close by the coast of France, are part of the United Kingdom and present an interesting blend of two cultures set in an environment of arresting beauty.
Action at Les Landes, Jersey
Horse racing has been conducted on Jersey under the auspices of the Jersey Race Club since 1832, and the Channel Islands Racing and Hunt Club was established in 1894 to administer the sport both here and on Guernsey. The spectacularly-sited shoreside racecourse Les Landes was opened in 1962. At Les Landes we're invited to join the Club members in their special enclosure for drinks and lunch prior to and during the racing, and today's feature has a familiar ring to it: it's the Jersey Derby.

We'll fly over and back (leaving the Oakley Court at about 8:30AM and getting back around 10PM).

Lower Slaughter, The CotswoldsIf you want a break from the horses, we've also arranged for a day trip up into the quintessential English countryside of the Cotswolds, the outskirts of which are little more than an hour from our hotel. There's a good deal of flexibility in the day's program; conceptually we have it planned as a meander through the characteristic villages of the Cotswolds, stopping here and there for a walk or some shopping, but it could include one or more major attractions such as Blenheim Palace or Shakespeare's Stratford-on-Avon. We'll work to come up with a consensus in advance among those signing on.

(Note your principal tour escort will be with the Jersey race-goers today, and the Cotswolders will be in the capable hands of a fully-credentialed private guide.)

 
 
Day 5
Mon  July 29
The Castle, WindsorOne way or another most of us will have had a long day yesterday, so this morning you can sleep in a bit and relax. Late morning we'll form up again and go into central Windsor for a walking tour of the town, conducted with a private guide, which will include a visit to the Castle. Windsor's Castle, a fortified site dating back to William the Conqueror nearly a thousand years ago, is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It's also one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite parking places.

Time permitting, we'll also get across the Thames to Eton for a quick look at the famous school.

Windsor RacecourseBy late afternoon we'll be back home to change silks for tonight's racing at the local racecourse. The Windsor Monday evening races are a regular and delightful part of the summer season, and atmosphere rather than big-time racing is the primary appeal here. The eccentric figure-8 course, set into a bend of the Thames River, sometimes takes the horses completely out of view. For a few of the longer races the layout allows for a short walk over the infield and a close-up of the start with plenty of time to amble back across to the finish line and see the field come back by again.

We'll have premier enclosure badges, and seating for a casual dinner at a paddock-side restaurant during the racing.

 
 
Day 6
Tue  July 30
Mid-morning we'll say our goodbyes to The Oakley Court and make a two-hour motor transfer to the Goodwood Hotel, our base near Goodwood Racecourse in West Sussex. Close proximity to the racecourse is the main reason behind our lodging choice here, but this property has been extensively upgraded in recent years and is a very comfortable place to put up.

THE GOODWOOD HOTEL is set within the 12,000-acre Goodwood Estate. It has a spa, a pool and fitness center, casual as well as fine dining, and a convivial bar we'll no doubt be spending some time in together. If you're extending beyond our trip dates, there's an adjacent golf course with rental clubs available, and the hotel is also not far from the historic city of Chichester, where a performance at the Festival Theatre might be of interest. Visit the hotel website at www.goodwood.co.uk/the-goodwood-hotel to see more. A full English breakfast is included each morning of our stay.

We won't linger after arrival and check-in today, just long enough for a freshen-up, and then we'll be off to the racecourse for the first day of "Glorious Goodwood".

The five-day July-August race meeting at Goodwood traces its roots back to 1801 and has occupied its present spot in the calendar since 1814. It's rivalled in longevity and prestige only by Royal Ascot among the top English racing festivals. Formal morning dress was de rigeur at the meeting until 1906, when King Edward VII appeared without warning in an easier deck-out, proclaiming Goodwood to be "a garden party with racing tacked on", that should be dressed for accordingly. His lead has been enthusiastically followed down to the present day and the race-goers' smart summer attire is one of the elements that gives the Glorious meeting its particularly distinctive atmosphere. Bring your Panama.

Further for the historically minded, a number of procedures we take for granted today were originated at Goodwood in the 1800s, including mandatory pre-race public saddling and the draw for post positions.

Glorious GoodwoodAnother unique feature of Goodwood is the racecourse itself. By general acclaim it's considered England's most beautiful course, and many observers rate it as the most attractive anywhere. The course footprint is among the world's most unusual as well: it's L-shaped rather than an enclosed circuit, and to a six-furlong straight is appended an expansive loop going off at an angle to enable longer distances to be run. Races start at and go off to an array of different places, in some cases traversing the same spot on the course in different directions during the same race.

At the racing, both today and tomorrow, we'll have access to the exclusive Richmond Enclosure and a block of reserved seats with excellent viewing. The opening day headliner is the Group 2 Lennox Stakes, one of the most valuable seven-furlong races in Europe, and the always interesting companion feature is the Group 3 mile-and-a-half Gordon Stakes for 3-year-olds, an important pointer for the Classic St Leger Stakes in September. The Group 3 five-furlong Molecomb for 2-year-olds is also a customary first-day fixture.

One of the pleasures of Goodwood on a fine day is a post-race hang-back at the Champagne Bar on the Richmond Enclosure lawn, to soak up the surroundings while the daylight softens and the traffic thins out. We have options both casual and elegant in the area for a no-host dinner tonight, and we'll take the group's temperature in advance of the trip, as pre-booking will be necessary. Those preferring to can go straight back to the hotel at their time of choosing.

 
 
Day 7
Wed  July 31

This can be another slow morning if that's what you're in the mood for there is plenty to do on the hotel grounds. A foray into Chichester may have appeal for the more ambitious, and if there's a demand we might even organize an excursion down to Portsmouth to visit the Royal Navy Museum. If you've ever wanted to walk the deck on H.M.S. Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, this could be your chance.

Early afternoon we'll head out for Day Two of Glorious Goodwood, and one of the better days of racing in Europe all year. Leading the card is the Group 1 Sussex Stakes, among the very biggest one-milers on the European calendar. Similar to the King George, this race frequently pits the top 3-year-olds against their elders at this specialty distance for the first time. It always draws a high-class field the undefeated Frankel won the two most recent renewals.

Away on a Long One at GoodwoodAlso today: The Group 2 Vintage Stakes for 2-year-olds, and the unique 2 5/8-mile Goodwood Handicap, which starts and finishes in front of the stands, covers virtually every yard of the course, and has more twists and turns than three normal races.

Assuming we can pry everyone away from the Champagne Bar after the races, there are a couple of alternatives for the evening. We can organize another no-host dinner at an area pub, or for the adventurous there is the annual Ball at Goodwood House to which we've kindly been invited. The Ball runs from 7:30PM to after midnight and is a delightful opportunity, particularly for those who might be carrying on here beyond tomorrow. (See details on the Ball below.)

In any case, these may be our last hours together as a complete group, so we hope everyone will want to congregate on the lawn for at least one final farewell pop together.

 
 
Day 8
Thur  Aug 1
The organized itinerary ends after breakfast and checkout this morning. For those who have to go, good luck and travel safely. We'll provide a transfer to your London airport, central London, or other closer U.K. onward point if you are continuing your journey in England. Those extending at the hotel will get their transfer on their day of departure.

If you're staying for more of Glorious Goodwood, the meeting runs three more days through Saturday. Thursday's card is headed by the Group 2 Goodwood Cup and two other Group races; Friday features a Group 2 and three Group 3s; and the main event on Saturday is the Group 1 Nassau Stakes, a very important ten-furlong test for fillies and mares.

 

CLOSING DATE

This trip will close on May 31, 2013. Payment in full and all necessary completed paperwork must be received by us no later than this date to insure that you will be able to join the trip.

COME EARLY, STAY LATE:

This itinerary is designed to be full and busy. For those preferring a more leisurely experience, we invite you to consider coming to England earlier and/or extending beyond our trip dates.

We have a few rooms blocked at the Oakley Court in Windsor prior to our trip dates and at the Goodwood Hotel in West Sussex through the end of the Glorious meeting. The demand is extremely heavy, however, particularly at the Goodwood. Please let us know as soon as possible if you are wanting extra nights at either of our hotels.

ITINERARY & PRICES:

The itinerary includes:

  • Four(4) nights lodging at the Oakley Court Hotel near Windsor.
  • Two(2) nights lodging at the Goodwood Hotel in West Sussex.
  • Full English breakfast each morning.
  • Dinner on one(1) evening: July 29 at Windsor Racecourse.
  • Four(4) escorted days' racing at Ascot, Windsor, and Goodwood, including transportation to and from the racecourse, premier enclosure admission or equivalent, and race card. Restaurant seating at Windsor. Reserved seating on both days at Goodwood.
  • Walking tour of Windsor and Eton with a private guide on July 29. Windsor Castle admission included.
  • Welcome cocktails and Thames River cruise on July 26.
  • Transfer on arrival from London airport to the Oakley Court Hotel. (Please note the trip price includes transfers from Heathrow Airport. Transfers can also be arranged from Gatwick or other airports, or from central London; however there will be a surcharge for these.)
  • Transfer from the Oakley Court Hotel to the Goodwood Hotel.
  • Outgoing transfer from the Goodwood Hotel to London Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick Airport, central London, or other closer onward destination in the U.K. (Please note the trip price includes transfers to Heathrow or Gatwick airports; other destinations may incur a surcharge.)
  • Complimentary racing newspaper each day.
  • Accompaniment throughout by a knowledgeable American escort.
The itinerary does not include:
  • Airfare to and from the U.S.A.
  • The cost of lunch on any day, or dinner except on the day indicated.
The Cost of the Trip does not include:
  • Any charges incurred at hotels other than the basic cost of the room, including but not limited to room service, mini-bar, television or video, restaurant or bar service, laundry or dry-cleaning, business services, golf or other activities, and independent activities arranged through hotel concierges. (All group members will be required to provide a credit card imprint upon check-in at each hotel to guarantee payment for any individual charges.)
  • Excess baggage charges. Please check trans-Atlantic and intra-European air flight baggage allowances.
  • Costs related to obtaining passports or visas.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Alcoholic beverages, except for the welcome cocktail cruise.
  • Charges incurred for anything other than what is specified in "The Itinerary Includes" summary above.
  • Personal gratuities. As part of our arrangements we will tip our in-trip drivers, farm and barn personnel, and hotel staff on behalf of the group. Group members should appropriately tip their inbound and outbound transfer drivers, and anyone else who provides them with personal assistance, including special assistance from hotel staff. Please note your principal tour escort does not expect and will not accept a gratuity.
The Cost of the Trip Is:

    $3,725 per person, based on double occupancy (twelve or more travelers).
    $3,775 per person, based on double occupancy (ten or eleven travelers).
    $3,875 per person, based on double occupancy (eight or nine travelers).

    $1,095 single supplement, regardless of group size.

    *Please note we have not received final pricing for some minor elements of this trip, and the trip price is therefore subject to minor adjustment until we do.

    We will attempt to match single travelers wishing to double up and thereby avoid the Single Supplement, however it will always be the single traveler's decision whether or not to accept a roommate. Single travelers on this trip will be accommodated in the same class of room as the double occupancy travelers at the Oakley Court Hotel (with a less desirable view to help keep the singles' price down). At the Goodwood Hotel, single travelers will be accommodated in the same class room as the double-occupancy travelers.

    Trip prices are subject to change up to thirty(30) days prior to trip departure to reflect fluctuations in currency exchange rates between the United States and the United Kingdom. Dollar prices quoted here are based on the following exchange rate:

    1 US $ = 0.625 UK pound // 1 UK pound = 1.60 US $

OPTIONS:

  • The day-trip to Jersey (July 28):

    About $400 to $500 per person is our best guess at the moment. Final price will depend on prevailing air fares and the number of people selecting this option. The excursion will include economy-class airfare from London to Jersey and back, airport transfers in London and all transport on Jersey, Members' Enclosure admission and lunch at Les Landes racecourse, and accompaniment throughout by your principal tour escort.

  • The day trip to the Cotswolds (July 28):

    Again, as above, the final price will depend on the number of people selecting this option and the specific program decided on by the travelers. About $200 to $350 is our estimate range for now. Transport will be provided from and back to the Oakley Court Hotel and the tour will be conducted by a qualified "Blue Badge" guide.

  • The Goodwood Ball (evening of July 31):

    The Ball takes place at Goodwood House, the traditional seat of the Dukes of Richmond. A Champagne reception begins at 7:30PM, followed by dinner and dancing. The cost for the event is approximately $335 per person and dress is Black-Tie or "Regency". Please let us know if you are interested in attending and we will guide you in making arrangements.

  • Any non-racing activities organized by Racing-Europe out of the Goodwood Hotel, such as into Chichester or down to Portsmouth, will be at extra cost.

  • Additional Nights at the Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor and/or the Goodwood Hotel in West Sussex: please inquire with us.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

*This trip is designed for eight(8) to sixteen(16) people. We will make every effort to operate the trip, however we reserve the right to cancel the trip if it has less than eight(8) subscribers. Should we need to cancel the trip, all payments made to Racing-Europe toward the cost of the trip will be fully and promptly refunded.

*Please note the day we attend Ascot Racecourse is not part of the Royal Ascot meeting.

*You must have a valid passport to enter the United Kingdom.

*If you are departing the U.K. directly from the Goodwood Hotel, please note the approximate transfer time from the hotel to the London airports is approximately two hours, and you must arrive at the airport to check in by the time your airline has advised you. We recommend leaving The Goodwood Hotel a minimum of four and a half (4 ) hours prior to your flight departure time. Therefore, we advise a departure time for your flight from London be as late in the day as you can make it, consistent with the time you want to be back in the U.S.
 

Racing photos © www.actionplus.co.uk.
Other photos courtesy of The Oakley Court Hotel, Ascot Racecourse, The Jersey Race Club, www.cotswolds.info, The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and Windsor Racecourse.
 

 
View the Itinerary for our other 2013 trip:

For September-October(France), click here

 

 

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