Known colloquially as ‘headquarters’ being home to the oldest race courses and dozens of top yards, Newmarket is essentially the home of British flat racing.
The first classics of the year, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas, are staged here on the Rowley Mile course in May as are some of the better trials for them in April.
Racing moves over to the July Course for a while in the summer, before moving back to the Rowley Mile for the major autumn races.
Newmarket is better known for its major Pattern races, the Guineas, the July Cup, the Dewhurst, the Middle Park etc however in the ‘Autumn Double’ handicaps, the Cambridgeshire and the Cesarewitch, it stages two of the biggest betting races of the year.
HQ Track Details
When betting at Newmarket you really need to keep in mind the difference nuances of the distinct July and Rowley Mile courses.
The Rowley Mile, on which the Guineas is run, is actually a straight mile-and-a-quarter. The Cesarewtich course is 2½ miles in extent and links up with the long straight.
On the straight course, rather unsatisfactorily in recent times, high numbers have had a distinct advantage even in top races such as the Guineas, so bear than in mind including in handicaps.
There are a couple of ridges on the Rowley Mile before the horses run into the notorious ‘Dip’, where despite this being a very straight course is catches out those without the requisite balance or stamina. You will therefore need a horse which truly sees out its trip.
Over on the July Course, which is two miles long with its one bend coming at the half-way point at the Bunbury Mile, there are more undulations, a downhill run for a furlong and then a stiff uphill climb to the line once again meaning stamina comes to the fore. There isn’t really a huge bias here in terms of draw or pace.
Betting in Newmarket handicaps it will always pay to worry more about quality than the draw or where the pace is. Handicaps here are top-class and as such, how well-in a horse is at the weights is a bigger factor than where it is drawn.
Top Trainers and Jockeys
The best of the best ply their trade at Newmarket and so its hard to dominate there. That said, these trainers excel on both the July Course and the Rowley Mile:
- John Gosden
- Charlie Appleby
- Mark Johnston
- Roger Varian
- William Haggas
- Ralph Beckett
- Saeed bin Suroor
The better jockeys, some of whom are attached to the above trainers, are:
- William Buick
- Oisin Murphy
- James Doyle
- Andrea Atzeni
- Jim Crowley
- Frankie Dettori
- Rab Havlin
Newmarket’s Biggest Handicaps
As the home of British flat racing, the list of Group 1 races is naturally impressive here. However, some of the biggest betting handicaps are:
|European Free Handicap||Craven Meeting, April||Listed Race||7 furlongs|
|Bunbury Cup||July Meeting||Class 2||7 furlongs|
|Cambridgeshire Handicap||Cambridgeshire Meeting, September||Class 2||1 mile, 1 furlong|
|Cesarewitch Handicap||Future Champions Festival, October||Class 2||2 miles, 2 furlongs|