Goodwood hopeful of arrests after handing police CCTV of 50-person brawl

Horse racing

o Course manager says staff 'heartbroken' by Saturday's incident
o Four people taken to hospital after 'vicious, nasty fight'

Goodwood's course manager, Alex Eade, said: 'We spend so much time making Goodwood the sort of tranquil, special, beautiful place that it is, and then it gets punctured by a few idiots.'Photograph: John Walton/PA

Senior officials at Goodwood are hopeful of arrests in relation to the shocking fight that took place there on Saturday, having handed evidence to Sussex police. Alex Eade, the course's manager, said his staff were "heartbroken" by events that resulted in four people requiring hospital treatment and made racecourse behaviour a hot topic once more, footage of the fight having circulated on the internet. "Some of my team were in tears," Eade said, "because we spend so much time making Goodwood the sort of tranquil, special, beautiful place that it is, and then it gets punctured by a few idiots in what was a nasty, vicious fight."

Sussex police have put out an appeal for witnesses, indicating that "around 50" people were involved and confirmed there have been no arrests so far. But Eade hopes that will change, after his staff spent hours poring over CCTV images. "Every one of their actions for the entire day, we have clearly documented and we've handed it all over to the police," he said. "We've got a number of very clear face shots of them actually in the act of fighting."

Eade said a group of 10 men appeared to be responsible for the fighting. While they had been served alcohol during the afternoon, they were eventually refused further service. "One of their group had been removed from site and it was in the process of that that the whole thing kicked off. Now, it's not that our security staff started it, they were fighting amongst themselves, they weren't fighting with our security staff.

"Should the police investigation identify them, we can ban them from Goodwood, which we would certainly do. And the British Horseracing Authority have indicated they would ban them from all racecourses immediately." Eade believes there is no precedent for such distressing scenes at Goodwood. "We need to make sure it never happens again.

If we need more security, we will get more. If we need to make that security more visible, we will do so. If we need to change our alcohol policy, then we will review that."

He added that the men responsible were smartly dressed in suits and had tickets for the Gordon enclosure, the second most expensive of the three enclosures at Goodwood. "Some people say: 'Put the ticket prices up, that'll price this type of personality out.' I don't think that makes any difference. Some say: 'Put the alcohol prices up.' Well, I'm not sure that would make any difference either."

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