In The Spotlight: All you need to know about Newmarket Racecourse

Enda McElhinney
LiveScore
Plenty of brilliant horses have taken to the parade ring at Newmarket Racecourse
Plenty of brilliant horses have taken to the parade ring at Newmarket Racecourse

Newmarket Racecourse is the home of Flat racing in Britain.

Situated just to the west of the Suffolk town, the course has been staging racing for more than 350 years.

Home to the National Horseracing Museum and the National Stud, as well as being densely populated with yards, the area is a hub for the industry.

About the racecourse

Newmarket has two Flat racecourses, the Rowley Mile and the July Course.

The latter is used in midsummer, while the Rowley Mile sees action in April and May before returning in the autumn. 

Both courses are typified by long, wide straights, ensuring they can accommodate large fields and they are generally considered fair tracks to all competitors.

The Rowley Mile

Newmarket's Rowley Mile is an imposing track for any racehorse. Courtesy of Racing Post
Newmarket's Rowley Mile is an imposing track for any racehorse. Courtesy of Racing Post

Home to the longest straight in Britain, the Rowley Mile is a wide, galloping track with a 10-furlong run-in. 

The famous Newmarket Dip — about two furlongs from home — is a real test of a horse's ability to remain balanced on the undulations and can be the undoing of many.

Then it is rising ground all the way to the winning line, ensuring a thorough stamina test.

That finishing hill has seen many a Newmarket contender come unstuck, with jockeys needing to be aware of the need not to commit too soon.

The main events are the opening two Classics of the British season — the 1000 and 2000 Guineas, which are run over a mile for three-year-old fillies and colts.

Newmarket's Classic trials — the Craven Stakes and Nell Gwyn Stakes — are early spring races of note, while in the autumn, prizes include the Middle Park Stakes, Cheveley Park Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes, and Fillies Mile.

Finally, the Cambridgeshire and Cesarewitch are two of the biggest handicaps in the calendar.

The July Course

The July Course hosts some of Newmarket's biggest races, including the July Cup
The July Course hosts some of Newmarket's biggest races, including the July Cup

The July Course is two miles and a furlong in length, with a sharp right-hand bend at the halfway point. 

One key difference in the track is a downhill furlong soon after that turn, offering some respite for runners before a steady climb to the line.

The ability to see out a trip remains a pre-requisite and the long straight ensures runners get a fair crack.

Group 1 races the July Cup and Falmouth Stakes are the standout contests on this course.

Enclosures

Newmarket Racecourse is one of the most iconic venues in the UK
Newmarket Racecourse is one of the most iconic venues in the UK

Newmarket has three enclosures for racegoers to enjoy the action — the Premier Enclosure, the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure and the Garden Enclosure (latter on the July Course, only).

All three offer a variety of raceday experiences, from Parade Ring viewing to restaurants, food outlets and bars. 

The dress code is smart in the Premier Enclosure, with a more relaxed feel in the remaining areas catering for all tastes during a day at the races.

Alongside the action on track, Newmarket often provides post-racing entertainment in the form of concerts which are open to all racegoers.

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