Commonly considered to be the headquarters of British horseracing, Newmarket race course is a thoroughbred horse racing track located near the market town of Newmarket in Suffolk. Newmarket, which is operated by the Jockey Club, is made up of two individual racecourses: the Rowley Mile, which is used in the Spring and Autumn, and the July Course, which is used during the summer months. Both tracks have a capacity of just over 20,000.
Furthermore, Newmarket is home to the National Stud, the National Horseracing Museum, the largest collection of training yards in the UK, and Tattersalls bloodstock auctioneers. The actual town of nearby Newmarket is thought to be home to over 3,000 horses housed inside 70 training yards, which gives you some idea how horse-mad this area is.
Of England’s five classics, two—the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas—take place here on the Rowley Mile each year in either late April or early May. The 1,000 Guineas Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race and the second of Britain’s five Classic races. It is also the first of two classics restricted to fillies and is run on the Sunday following the 2,000 Guineas Stakes. Along with Epsom’s Oakes Stakes and Doncaster’s St Leger, the 1,000 Guineas makes up the Fillies’ Triple Crown and is the first race of the three to be held each year.
Overall, Newmarket is home to nine of British racing’s 36 annual Group 1 races, staging just one less than Ascot. Other races of note held at Newmarket include the Cheveley and Middle Park Stakes, Cambridgeshire and Cesarewitch Handicaps, Fillies’ Mile, Dewhurst Stakes, and the Darley July Cup, which runs on the last day of the three-day-long July Meeting and is considered to be the most important six-furlong sprint in Europe.
Newmarket Race Course History
Horseracing at Newmarket dates back to the early 16th century and the reigns of James I and Charles II, who was known to attend races on the Heath. The town was really put on the map, according to local registers, on February 27th, 1604, when King James I came to the area on a hunting trip and took a shine to the area and decided to make it a holiday location.
As such, Newmarket Palace was established, and several monarchs later, it has seen numerous upgrades. Today, its remnants are remembered as Palace House, and it is incorporated into Newmarket’s National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art. Royals tended to frequent races, and horse racing was known as the sport of kings. The sport increased in popularity, and the foundations of modern Newmarket and the racing industry were planted.
The first recorded race was a match for £100 between horses owned by Lord Salisbury and Marquess of Buckingham in 1622, while the racecourse itself dates back to 1636. For centuries, thoroughbred horses were refined here and horseracing became an organized sport helped by the establishment of The Jockey Club in the town in 1752, who then set rules to ensure races on Newmarket heath were run fairly. Originally, club members met in The Red Lion Inn, and later a coffee shop that became incorporated into the Jockey Club’s own building and was renamed the Jockey Club Rooms.
Newmarket Race Course track configuration
2 miles and 24 yards in extent.
The first mile is known as the Cesarewitch course, and the last the straight Bunbury Mile, with one right-handed turn halfway.
All races up to a mile are on the straight course, the longest straight in Britain.
Wide, galloping track with an uphill finish.
Newmarket race track bias
This is a course where bettors need to pay attention to the wind direction and, because of the chalky heath, it is known to ride extremely lively too. Due to the uphill finish, in which many can be seen to struggle, a big, long-striding horse is ideal, and those that commit for home too early can be caught on the run to the line. Picking a horse that can produce multiple strides and is known to possess the ability to see out the trip is essential at Newmarket.
This is true except for the descent into the Dip, where such a horse can lose balance. In big fields, horses that have been drawn low are at a slight disadvantage. There are several ridges prior to the Dip that need to be ridden smoothly. The width of the track varies from meet to meet, as the rails are repositioned on a regular basis meaning no regular bias can be relied upon. Because of this, should you get the chance, pay attention to the earlier races on the same day to get some kind of informed idea as to how the position of the rails is influencing the action.
Newmarket race track best trainers
Due to the stud and being located in the area, many of the most successful trainers are actually based in Newmarket. Names such as Sir Michael Stoute and John Gosden, who are synonymous with British Horseracing, are among those centered in the area.
Today, there are a number of names to look out for. Trainers have dedicated their lives to creating Newmarket winners, and in the process add their name to an illustrious list. Some of these are drawn from overseas, others the United Kingdom and Ireland. Either way, make sure you know the best trainers to keep a watch out for to when backing horses at Newmarket.
- C Appleby (27.27% win rate)
- A P O’Brien (22.38% win rate)
- J H M Gosden (17.4% win rate)
- S bin Suroor (16.15% win rate)
- M Johnston (15.54% win rate)
Newmarket race track best Jockeys
Newmarket is certainly a course to look out for over the summer months, which is when the biggest names in British Horseracing will all be focusing their efforts. Many of British racing’s most famous jockeys actually made their name riding winners at Newmarket. Due to the trickiness of the riding here, experienced Newmarket riders that are fully aware of all of the course’s little quirks are preferred.
Given that we are looking for jockeys that have fared well here before, the jockeys with the best win rate at Newmarket since 2016 are as follows.
- W Buick (20.68% win rate)
- J Doyle (19.35% win rate)
- H Bentley (16.48% win rate)
- L Dettori (16.36% win rate)
- R L Moore (16.16% win rate)
Newmarket racing season
Newmarket’s season runs from early May until early November and covers over 30 meetings held on both the Rowley and the July. These meetings are mainly daytime races, but there is a healthy mix of some evening racing too, which is perfect for the long summer days.
Keep an eye out for major race meets that include The 1,000 Guineas, a Group 1 flat race exclusively for three-year-old fillies that was first run on 28 April, 1814. This is run over a mile and takes place each year in late April or early May the day after the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, which itself was first staged five years before the 1,000 Guineas in 1809. The 2,000 Guineas is raced over the same distance and is open to both colts and fillies.
As we noted above, Newmarket is home to nine of British racing’s 36 annual Group 1 races, so other race days to look out for include the Cheveley Park Stakes for two-year-old fillies over a distance of 6 furlongs that goes each year in late September. There is also the Middle Park Stakes, which is the colts’ equivalent, and the 7 furlong Dewhurst Stakes. Oh, and summer wouldn’t be summer without the July Festival, a three-day event which culminates in the July Cup.
Newmarket race track stakes and Graded Stakes calendar for 2019
Saturday 4th May 2019 – 2,000 Guineas Stakes – Afternoon – Turf
Sunday 5th May 209 – 1,000 Guineas Stakes – Afternoon – Turf
Thursday 16th May 2019 – Evening – Turf
Friday 17th May 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 18th May 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 8th June 2019 – Afternoon –
Saturday 22nd June 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Thursday 27th June 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 28th June 2019 – Evening – Turf
Saturday 29th June 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Thursday 11th July 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 12th July 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 13th July 2019 – Darley July Cup – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 19th July 2019 – Evening – Turf
Saturday 20th July 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 26th July 2019 – Evening – Turf
Saturday 27th July 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 2nd August 2019 – Evening – Turf
Saturday 3rd August 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 9th August 2019 – Evening – Turf
Saturday 10th August 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 16th August 2019 – Evening – Turf
Saturday 17th August 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 23rd August 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 24th August 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 21st September 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Thursday 26th September 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 27th September 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 28th September 2019 – Cheveley Park Stakes, Cambridgeshire Handicap & Middle Park Stakes – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 5th October 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 11th October 2019 – Fillies’ Mile – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 12th October 2019 – Cesarewitch Handicap & Darley Dewhurst Stakes – Afternoon – Turf
Wednesday 23rd October 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 1st November 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 2nd November 2019 – Afternoon – Turf
Newmarket Race Course address and website
Newmarket Racecourse, Westfield House,
The Links, Newmarket CB8 0TG, UK