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Newmarket is the headquarters of British racing and the Suffolk town revolves around the thoroughbred. There are two separate racecourses; The Rowley Mile and the July Course. Each will be clearly sign-posted on race days from the A11 and A14. Trains run from London Kings Cross and Liverpool Street to Cambridge, Ipswich or Stansted, then change for Newmarket.
Newmarket Racing Tips
The Rowley Mile stages race meetings during April and May before action switches to the July Course. Racing returns to the Rowley Mile in the Autumn for the concluding meetings of the season.
The Rowley Mile has one turn just beyond the ten furlong marker and uphill finish so suits long-striding galloping types. It is the longest home straight in Britain and one of the few courses where the wind is a significant factor.
The July course is not dissimilar to the Rowley Mile. The rails are frequently moved on both tracks so it is not possible to distinguish any clear draw bias. One of the key Newmarket tips is that front runners fare better statistically on the July Course.
Newmarket Horse Racing History
Newmarket has the highest concentration of racing stables in the country with a racing history dating back to James I. The first recorded race was a match in 1622 between horses owned by Lord Salisbury and the Marquess of Buckingham.
The racecourse was opened in 1636 with the inaugural running of the Newmarket Town Plate taking place in 1671. This race no longer holds much significance in the racing calendar but it remains an integral part of Newmarket’s history. It is thought to have been the first race run under rules and is now the only race that starts on the round course here. The July meeting was created in 1765 with the Craven Meeting being established in 1771.
The 2000 Guineas was first run in 1809 with the 1000 Guineas following in 1814. Newmarket continued to race during both World Wars, playing host to the Derby on ten occasions. The photo finish was employed for the first time at Newmarket in 1949 and the July course began their popular “Newmarket Nights” in 1987. The Champion Stakes was held at Newmarket until being transferred to Ascot in 2011.
Newmarket July Festival
The Craven meeting kicks off the new flat season at Newmarket with the title race being one of the most important Classic trials. The two-day meeting also includes the Nell Gwyn Stakes for fillies and the European Free Handicap. The Guineas Festival in May stages the first two Classic races of the season with the 2000 Guineas on Saturday and the 1000 Guineas on Sunday.
The Group 1 July Cup is the highlight of the three-day festival on the July course. The meeting also features the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes and the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes. The action moves back to the Rowley Mile in September and October for the Cambridgeshire and Cesarewitch meetings.
Newmarket stages many of the top flat races of the season, including a quarter of the 36 Group 1 races. The 2000 Guineas is the first Group 1 of the season on the Rowley Mile. The colt’s Classic is followed by the fillies’ equivalent with the 1000 Guineas, both races over a mile. The Craven meeting also features high class sprint races in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes and Palace House Stakes.
The Group 1 July Cup is one of the most prestigious sprint races of the season and often establishes the champion sprinter in Europe. The Falmouth Stakes is an intriguing clash between the top three-year-old fillies and best fillies and mares of the older generations. The Bunbury Cup is one of the most competitive seven furlong handicaps of the season.
The Fillies’ Mile and Oh So Sharp Stakes in September and Cheveley Park Stakes in October often provide clues to the following season’s 1000 Guineas. Top races for juvenile colts are the Royal Lodge Stakes in September and the Dewhurst Stakes and Middle Park Stakes the following month.
The Cambridgeshire Handicap takes place in September over nine furlongs, the first leg of the “Autumn Double”. Seven horses have won the Cambridgeshire seven times, Bronze Angel becoming the latest in 2014.
The second leg is the Cesarewitch over two and a quarter miles in October. Withhold was one of the hottest Newmarket tips in 2017 and became the first winning favourite in the marathon race for eight years.
Famous Races and Racehorses at Newmarket
Famous 2000 Guineas include Crepello (1957), Nijinsky (1970), Brigadier Gerard (1971), El Gran Senor (1984), Dancing Brave (1986) and Frankel (2011). There were only six runners for the 1971 running but it produced one of the greatest ever renewals. Brigadier Gerard defeated subsequent Derby winner Mill Reef and My Swallow.
Nijinsky would go on to win the Derby and the St Leger, the last horse to claim the elusive Triple Crown. Frankel’s 2000 Guineas victory in 2011 was simply breath-taking. He was one of the best Newmarket tips for years, starting the shortest priced favourite in the race since 1974. He was fifteen lengths clear by half-way and eventually won comfortably by six lengths. It was the biggest winning margin since Tudor Minstrel in 1947.
Notable 1000 Guineas include Petite Etoile (1959), Highclere (1974), Pebbles (1984), Oh So Sharp (1985), Salsabil (1990) and Attraction (2004). Ghanaati set a record time for the race in 2009 and Billesdon Brook (66-1) become the longest priced winner in the history of the event in 2018.
The Falmouth Stakes was won twice by Sonic Lady (1986 and 1987) and Soviet Song (2004 and 2005). The brilliant French filly Goldikova won this race in 2009 for Freddy Head and Olivier Peslier. One of the most popular performers at Newmarket over the years was Further Flight, five times a winner of the Jockey Club Cup between 1991 and 1995.
Derby winners Nijinsky (1969), Mill Reef (1970), Grundy (1974), The Minstrel (1976), Generous (1990), Dr Devious (1991) and Sir Percy (2005) all won the Dewhurst.
Newmarket Betting Tips
Statistics suggest that one of the best Newmarket tips is to follow trainers Charlie Appleby and Aidan O’Brien. Both have recorded a strike rate of more than 25% over the past three seasons and a level stakes profit. John Gosden is not far behind them and all three stables like to run their best two-year-olds at Newmarket.
William Buick and Frankie Dettori are the stand-out jockeys at Newmarket in recent years. Buick has been the top jockey numerically with a healthy 21% strike rate and a level stakes profit. Dettori is always popular with punters and has either won or been placed on well over half of his rides.