Newmarket July Festival Betting Tips – 11th, 12th & 13th July 2019

Horse RaceNewmarket is a real hub of horse racing and the sport’s spiritual home. The Suffolk town is used as the base of many racing trainers so a large number of people in the town are involved in the industry. It’s also home to the world class Newmarket Racecourse which is ready to host its signature summer meeting, the July Festival.

Each day of the July Festival includes excellent races which take top billing. The Princess Of Wales’s Stakes, Falmouth Stakes and Darley July Cup are the undoubted highlights but each race has its merits and a potential route to profit which is why we’ve previewed all of the action below.

News – Dettori’s Sensational Summer Set To Continue

Frankie Dettori has had a great season so far with no fewer than seven Group 1 victories since he rode Anapuran to Oaks glory at Epsom at the end of May. And Frankie has a very good chance of extending his fine recent record when he comes to Newmarket for the July Festival, not least in the July Cup on Saturday.

Dettori will be in the saddle on Martyn Meade’s Advertise, the colt he rode to victory in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last month. Dettori was also coupled with Advertise when he won the July Stakes at this course last year, and he looks well-placed to perform well again here.

Weather

Newmarket July Festival 2019 Weather Forecast

Forecast via Met Office

It’s all calm on the weather front at Newmarket for Saturday. Any clouds present in the morning will soon burn off to leave locals bathed in sunshine and temperatures in the lower 20s. That means lovely conditions for those making the trip to Newmarket for the racing on Saturday, in contrast to the inclement weather expected on the first two days of racing.

Ladies Day: Thursday 11th July 2019

Time Race Distance Tip
1:50 Trophy Stakes 1m5f Barbados at 4/1
2:25 July Stakes 6f Visinari at 5/4
3:00 bet365 Handicap 6f Magical Wish EW at 10/1
3:35 Princess of Wales’s Stakes 1m4f Dashing Willoughby EW at 10/1
4:05 EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes 6f Daily Times
4:40 Sir Henry Cecil Stakes 1m Art Du Val
5:10 John Deere & Ben Burgess Handicap 1m Balgair

Ladies Day gets the July Festival off to a cracking start. The day is headlined by a very open-looking renewal of the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes in which Masar faces a number of dangerous challengers as he looks to get back to his best. The supporting cast of races are of high quality as well, with a selection of Group level contests and tricky handicaps.

Trophy Stakes

1:50, Group 3, 1m5f

The July Festival kicks off with an all three-year-old contest held at the Group 3 level. The Trophy Stakes has been won by some high class horses who are still improving but it’s not often that the winner is completely missed by the market. Wells Farhh Go’s win at 7/1 last year is the only example of a horse winning from outside of the top three in the betting so that’s where to focus for this year’s renewal.

An interesting trend from the Trophy Stakes is that 15 of the last 17 winners failed to win last time out. That bodes well for the chances of Barbados who finished second in the Queen’s Vase. That was yet another step forward for the Aidan O’Brien-trained horse who could claim this at 4/1 en route to a tilt at the St Leger.

Barbados to win at 4/1

July Stakes

2:25, Group 2, 6f

The July Stakes is always an important race in the juvenile ranks. Horses at this stage of their two year old season are often capable of big steps forward. That has resulted in a mixture of winners with four favourites and three winners at 10/1 or bigger in the last 10 years. It follows that the betting market for the July Stakes is always an interesting one to keep an eye on and the bookies have seen enough from Visinari in just one performance to make him the clear favourite.

The market certainly wasn’t overly sweet about Visinari’s chances on debut at Newmarket but he stormed home at 10/1, putting a firm favourite in the shade. There’s a different picture this time around with the weight of expectation and money on Mark Johnston’s colt but don’t be surprised if we see the same result. The powerful nature of Visinari’s performance suggests he could be something special. If he is, he’ll surely win again at Newmarket at odds of 5/4.

Visinari to win at 5/4

bet365 Handicap

3:00, Class 2, 6f

The popularity of the bet365 Handicap is made obvious by the fact that it is oversubscribed to the tune of 10 horses. There’s a healthy first prize of £62,000 up for grabs and, as with ever with these sort of big field sprint handicaps, it’s going to take a dogged performance full of heart to win.

As many of the competitors in the bet365 Handicap are used to performing in this sort of tough handicap, it’s no surprise that none of the last 13 winners came into the race on the back of a win. In the search for a value bet, you’re looking for a horse who has the combination of grit to not be bumped out of contention in running and out and put pace to kick strongly for home in the closing stages.

Magical Wish has as much experience of this sort of handicap as any horse in the race. Richard Hannon’s colt hasn’t always got things right in running and it’s not entirely clear whether he is at his best over this trip but he has that combination of qualities required to be a real contender a 10/1.

Magical Wish each way at 10/1

Princess Of Wales’s Stakes

3:35, Group 2, 1m4f

This is the big race of the Ladies Day. The Princess Of Wales’s Stakes always plays host to horses of the highest calibre over a mile and a half and that’s certainly the case for this year’s renewal. The betting for this important Group 2 is headlined by last year’s Derby winner, Masar. His return at Royal Ascot after over a year out was very welcomed but his fans were left disappointed as the Charlie Appleby trained four year old was unable to recover from a poor start.

Masar can be forgiven that performance given the injury problems he’s face and he is entitled to improve over in the future. The question is whether he’ll improve enough from that run to justify his price of 5/4. Masar isn’t the only horse towards the top of the market with questions to answer though. Mirage Dancer hasn’t exactly proven beyond all doubt that he has the required class to win a race of this calibre whilst Baghdad is a solid performer but is making the step up from handicaps which is rarely easy.

With so much for the market principles to prove, it could pay to have an each way betting option for the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes. In that regard, the 10/1 available on Dashing Willoughby stands out. Andrew Balding’s three-year-old capitalised on the soft ground at Ascot to win the Queen’s Vase. The prospect of rain at Newmarket on Thursday suggests that his price may well come in and that he has a genuine chance of upsetting the favourites.

Dashing Willoughby each way at 10/1

British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes

4:05, Class 2, 6f

This six furlong Class 2 race for two year olds is not the easiest contest to call at Newmarket this week. With so little form in the book it really is a matter of keeping an eye on the market and following any late movers. Having said that, a runner who does at least have a couple of runs behind her is the John Gosden-trained filly, Daily Times. Beaten by a neck at Kempton last time out, and fourth of 10 on debut at Newmarket, this is the one for us to back here.

Daily Times to win

Sir Henry Cecil Stakes

4:40, Listed, 1m

The Listed contest that is the Henry Cecil Stakes is up next and this looks a competitive renewal with the likes of Charlie Appleby’s Art Du Val and Ralph Beckett’s Biometric likely to challenge for the victory. After winning the Prix de Saint-Patrick last time out at Saint-Cloud, it is Art Du Val who appears most attractive and the Godolphin colt is the one for us.

Art Du Val to win

John Deere & Ben Burgess Handicap

5:10, Class 3, 1m

The final race on the opening day at Newmarket is a one mile Class 3 handicap open to runners aged three years and older with a maximum official rating of 90. There are a few runners to have caught our eye for this one, including the David O’Meara five year old Markazi. But we are plumping for the Tom Clover-trained Balgair who was second in a handicap at this course in June and who won in May at Yarmouth.

Balgair to win

Feel Good Friday: Friday 12th July

Time Race Distance Tip
1:50 bet365 Handicap 1m2f Migration each way at 12/1
2:25 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes 6f Raffle Prize to win at 4/1
3:00 bet365 Trophy 1m6f King’s Advice each way at 20/1
3:35 Falmouth Stakes 1m Beshaayir to win at 4/1
4:10 Weatherbys Maiden Stakes 7f Al Namir to win
4:45 Cambridge Handicap 7f Apex King to win
5:20 JFD Handicap 5f Tropics to win

The second day of the July Festival is called Feel Good Friday by the Newmarket organisers. They put on all sorts of entertainment around the course but it’s the racing, and specifically the Falmouth Stakes, which takes top billing.

bet365 Handicap

1:50, Class 2, 1m2f

The July Festival has many competitive handicaps for providing ample opportunity for punters of which the bet365 Handicap which kicks off day two of the meeting is one. This 1m2f race for three-year-olds is oversubscribed with connections of 29 horses trying to get an entry for a shot at the £50k winner’s prize. Although it’s not a race full of history, it has thrown up a few long shots claiming a place and the competitiveness of this 20 runner contest suggest an each way bet is the way to go.

Migration could be the horse to support at 12/1. David Menuisier was happy enough with the work of his charge earlier in the season to give him a run at Royal Ascot. He didn’t quite give his best in the Britannia Stakes which may be because he just didn’t enjoy the track. Migration should be better on his return to Newmarket where he is already a winner so expect him to challenge.

Migration each way at 12/1

Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes

2:25, Group 2, 6f

There’s a Group 2 contest up next in the shape of the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes. Open only two two-year-old fillies, this race has produced some very high class winners in its recent history with Pretty Pollyanna, Clemmie and Roly Poly securing the last three renewals. Some big yards have entered promising horses for a crack at what is a healthy prize for juveniles but who is going to take another step forward?

Daahyeh is fairly strong at the head of the market following two wins from her two starts to date, both of which came over 6f. It’s the fate of a horse who last won over 5f that is most interesting though. Raffle Prize won her first race at the second attempt over 6f and was then dropped back to the minimum trip at Royal Ascot. There is no need to worry about her stamina though as she won the Queen Mary Stakes on soft ground which more than made up for the shorter distance.

Raffle Prize’s win at Royal Ascot was most impressive because of how straight forward it all looked for her. Frankie Dettori never looked concerned in the saddle and she quickened away from the field when asked. She’s more than capable of making a successful return to 6f and is well priced at 4/1.

Raffle Prize to win at 4/1

bet365 Trophy

3:00, Class 2, 1m6f

The bet365 Trophy carries a first prize of £74,000 which is enough to attract far more entries than the maximum field size of 20 permitted to run in yet another handicap that looks challenging for punters. The race is also very challenging for the runners and riders with a staying trip of 1m6f not undoing the importance of the draw at Newmarket.

This is the sort of race that each way betting was made for. There’s a lack of a firm favourite, several battle hardened competitors in the field and the real chance of an outsider claiming the win. King’s Advice is one of those outsiders worth considering at 20/1. He took to life in Britain very well with six straight wins but found it all a bit too much for him in his first taste of a big field British handicap in the Northumberland Plate.

That experience will only serve Mark Johnston’s five-year-old well, as should the drop down in trip to 1m6f. He is a versatile performer who should have no issues being in the mix come the closing stages. It’s then down to how hard he can kick for home as to what position he finishes in.

King’s Advice each way at 20/1

Falmouth Stakes

3:35, Group 1, 1m

The Falmouth Stakes is the feature race of Day 2 at the July Festival and arguably of the entire meeting. It’s a very well regarded Group 1 contest for fillies and mares aged three and older. Although a certain amount of proven class is important (former winners almost always had a win at Listed level or higher to their names) the Falmouth Stakes often goes to a horse aged three or four who is still improving.

That is not great news for connections of the current favourite, One Master. Not only is she bidding to become the first five-year-old to win since Soviet Song claimed the second of her two Falmouth Stakes wins, but her incoming form doesn’t particularly suggest a horse on the up.

It’s a different story for both Beshaayir (4/1) and Veracious (7/1). Beshaayir heads to Newmarket on the back of her first Group 2 win at the Curragh where she beat I Can Fly amongst others. That came thanks to an excellent training job from William Haggas to get her so fit on her first appearance of the season and her chances of getting even stronger second time out is understandably exciting connections.

Connections of Veracious are also very excited about the chances of their filly. Sir Michael Stoute is working his magic on the four-year-old who is working her way up to her best and is a real challenger in the Falmouth Stakes. It’s Beshaayir who gets the nod though thanks to her proven form at Newmarket.

Beshaayir to win at 4/1

Weatherbys Maiden Stakes

4:10, Class 3, 7f

This Class 3 race for two year old colts and geldings is not packed full of the best juveniles around, but it should make for an interesting spectacle nonetheless. John Gosden’s Mass Media and Aidan O’Brien’s Kipling could well compete for the win here, but we are looking to the Richard Hannon-trained Al Namir for our bet. Jim Cowley gets the ride and the jockey rode this one to a decent enough third place on debut back in May. He’s worth a small punt to get the victory in this one.

Al Namir to win

Cambridge Handicap

4:45, Class 3, 7f

Seven furlongs is the trip for the penultimate race of the day, and this Class 3 handicap has a number of potential winners amongst the runners.

Our attention is drawn to the five year old gelding Apex King who was third in a handicap at this course at the end of July and won here way back in 2016. We think he could just get the job done here if things go his way.

Apex King to win

JFD Handicap

5:20, Class 2, 5f

The last race of the day at Newmarket is this Class 2 five furlong sprint. Again it’s a tricky one to unpick but for us it is the Dean Ivory-trained Tropics that looks most likely to triumph. A winner over this distance at Chelmsford last time out, he has form at the July Course at Newmarket: he was second in the July Cup in 2015, and though that was a while ago, we think he could find his winning pace again here.

Tropics to win

Darley July Cup Day: Saturday 13th June 2019

Time Race Distance Tip
1:50 British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes 7f Miss Villanelle to win
2:20 bet365 Mile Handicap 1m Motakhayyel to win at 8/1
2:55 bet365 Superlative Stakes 7f Armory to win at 9/4
3:30 Bunbury Cup 7f Escobar each way at 25/1
4:05 British EBF Fillies’ Handicap 7f Model Guest each way
4:40 Darley July Cup Stakes 6f Advertise to win at 11/4
5:15 Maritime Cargo Handicap 1m4f Babbo’s Boy to win

The finale of the July Festival is built around one race, the Darley July Cup. It’s a chance for racing fans to see the very best sprinters in action and always attracts a good crowd to Newmarket. With other exciting contests sprinkled throughout the card this promises to be a Saturday of racing you can’t miss. And also one where we hope to land a winner or three to make it a profitable meeting and build the betting bank ahead of Glorious Goodwood.

Rossdales British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes

1:50, Class 3, 7f

A maiden for two-year-old fillies gets the Saturday card underway at Newmarket. Some big name trainers and jockeys have got their hands on the Rossdales British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes in its five renewals to date. Charlie Hills is not among that number but he has a good chance of changing that on Saturday.

Miss Villanelle ran well on her debut but was unable to improve on that when facing some promising colts last time out. She’s entitled to come on for that run and could well lose her maiden tag back against her own sex.

Miss Villanelle to win

bet365 Mile Handicap

2:20, Class 2, 1m

The bet365 Mile Handicap provides a worthy prize for the 20 three-year-olds in the field. The race is open only to horses with an official rating of 100 or below and those who have made the cut combine to create a very competitive looking encounter and one where finding the winner looks a tricky task.

The stats show that punters should focus their attention on horses with a previous win over at least 7f and who are carrying 9st 4lb or less on their backs. They also suggest that it is worth looking a little further down the betting as favourites don’t have a great record with only two obliging their backers in the last 10 years.

Motakhayyel is a particularly interesting option from the middle portion of the betting market. He’s made just three performances so far for Richard Hannon but wasted no time getting off the mark. He couldn’t make it a perfect three wins from three last time out but impressed nonetheless on his handicap debut and should relish the competition against a big field so is well priced at 8/1. Take that each way or on the nose as you prefer.

Motakhayyel to win at 8/1

bet365 Superlative Stakes

2:55, Group 2, 7f

The build up to the July Cup continues with the Superlative Stakes, a Group 2 contest for two-year-olds with more stamina than most. Run over 7f, this is a race which has produced some quality horses over the years and can be a good pointer to other big juvenile races including the Vertem Futurity Trophy and the Dewhurst Stakes.

The importance of this race even to the biggest yards cannot be understated. The last 10 renewals have seen multiple wins for Charlie Appleby, Aidan O’Brien and Richard Fahey among others and big name trainers look to have the 2019 renewal sewn up, at least if the market is to be believed.

Aidan O’Brien has a typically strong hand in the race with a number of options, the strongest of which is current bookies’ favourite, Armory. He’s been seen just twice so far with both runs coming over 7f. After falling short when well backed on debut, he scored in impressive style at the Curragh when springing through the pack with a tremendous turn of pace. Some judges are excited about the prospect of a top class horse in Armory and he can maintain his forward momentum with his biggest win yet at very decent looking odds of 9/4.

Armory to win at 9/4

Bunbury Cup

3:30, Class 2, 7f

The Bunbury Cup is one of several lucrative handicaps taking place during the July Festival. Competition for a place in this 7f race is fiercer than any other though with over 70 horses vying for one of just 20 places. That competition usually provides a compact betting market and the price of winners over the last decade has varied little, with all winners setting out at an SP between 4/1 and 14/1.

The race itself is always as competitive as the betting. Picking a winner is no easy task but there are some useful trends to use to narrow the field down a little. Ideally, punters should look for a horse with three or more runs this season, who has won over 7f and has experience of this sort of big field handicap. Horses aged either four and five have won the majority of recent renewals and 9st 3lb is about the maximum weight to consider.

Escobar is one of the horses who ticks all of those boxes. He was last seen running well for second place in the Coral Challenge at Sandown. That was the latest in a line of starts over a mile so it is very interesting to see him dropped down in trip. A game sort who will stick to his task doggedly before kicking strongly for home, Escobar has a good each way chance at a very big price of 25/1.

Escobar each way at 25/1

Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa British EBF Fillies’ Handicap

4:05, Class 2, 7f

The Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa British EBF Fillies’ Handicap is open only to fillies aged three who have a maximum handicap rating of 100. A healthy field of 17 will head to the start for a race which tends to be won by those towards the top of the betting since Greenisland went in at a massive 66/1 back in 2009.

Model Guest has so far been unable to win any of her nine starts for Ed Walker. It’s not time to start panicking yet though as she made a solid go of things in the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot. Against a slightly lower level of opposition, she should contend again and might even break the duck at last.

Model Guest each way

Darley July Cup

4:40, Group 1, 6f

The Darley July Cup is such an important race that many believe it crowns the champion sprinter in Europe. A Group 1 of the highest calibre, the 6f July Cup always attracts a field packed full of the best sprinters in training. Sadly for connections, one of those missing this year’s contest is Blue Point, whose retirement has significantly opened up the contest.

Martyn Meade is one of those trainers who is particularly excited about Blue Point’s absence. He was in two minds about whether to run his Royal Ascot hero Advertise in the July Cup but it’s now all systems go for Saturday. Whilst he wasn’t entirely missed by the market in the Commonwealth Cup, those who snapped up the 8/1 available about Advertise at Ascot felt very good about themselves. You won’t get anything like that for the July Cup but 11/4 still looks a good price given he has found his feet as a sprinter and is set for many more wins at the level.

Of course, Advertise will have to outcompete a host of high class opponents. Dream Of Dreams finished second to Blue Point at Royal Ascot and the five-year-old is still improving under Sir Michael Stoute; Cape Byron looks ready to take the step up from victory at Royal Ascot; and Brando is an incredibly experienced and consistent performer. Ultimately though, Advertise is the star of the show and can hammer home his quality over sprint trips once again in the day’s huge and lucrative feature.

Advertise to win at 11/4

Maritime Cargo Handicap

5:15, Class 3, 1m4f

The Maritime Cargo Handicap brings the July Festival to an end. In truth, many of the fans will already have left Newmarket by the time this handicap for three-year-olds gets underway but it was oversubscribed so many trainers see the value in this contest, even if mainstream racing fans might not.

Michael Bell is one of those who is hopeful the Maritime Cargo Handicap will play an important part in the career of one of his horses. Babbo’s Boy struggled in a big field handicap at Royal Ascot but has shown glimpses of excellent form and should improve for that run. He also has the added advantage of Ryan Moore on board so is a solid option in the betting.

Babbo’s Boy to win

About the Meeting

One of the real sporting highlights of the summer months is the plethora of flat racing festivals on offer. No sooner is one over and done, than another seems to be on the horizon. From Royal Ascot to Glorious Goodwood, from Chester to York, racing is the sport which just keeps on giving over the summer months, with top class action all over the country.

It is the course of Newmarket which is the spiritual and organisational home of the flat racing game though, and as such it is only fitting that the Suffolk venue throws its hat into the ring with a top class festival of its own.

Held in mid-July each year and taking place on the July course at HQ, this three-day meeting lays on 21 contests for our viewing and punting pleasure. With seven Group races in all, including two at the very highest level, intermixed with high quality handicapping and juvenile action, this is one summer racing show that is definitely not to be missed. Here we take a look at this excellent meeting’s flagship contests to get your racing juices flowing.

Key Races

July Cup

Race Facts
Distance 6f
Grade Group 1
Ages 3yo+
Prize Fund £500,000
Winner £283,500
First Run 1876

This is the July Meeting, held on the July Course and it is the July Cup which fittingly acts as the headline act across the three days. Part of the British Champion Series, this prestigious Group 1 affair, a six furlong sprint, annually attracts the real superstars of the sprinting game, who line up to do battle for the £500,000 in total prize money on offer. Open to all runners aged three and older, be they fillies, geldings or colts, this contest really does determine who is the fastest of them all.

Diadem, Abernant and Right Boy all have their names in the sprinting hall of fame, and all won this race twice. Sundridge bettered those achievement though when landing three successive editions between 1902 and 1904. The names of Oasis Dream, Muhaarar and Harry Angel feature prominently on the list of champions from the current century, in what is a high class roll of honour.

Princess of Wales’s Stakes

Race Facts
Distance 1m4f
Grade Group 2
Age 3yo+
Prize Fund £100,000
Winner £56,710
First Run 1894

Taking centre stage on the opening day is this 1m4f Group 2 event open to all runners aged three and older. Named in honour of Alexandra of Denmark who became Princess Of Wales back in 1863, this race was added to the Newmarket offering in 1892 and quickly became established as one of the summer’s top targets for the middle distance performers. Initially held over the one mile trip, both the distance and prize money have increased over the years, with a more than tidy purse of £100,000 on offer in 2018.

Sir Michael Stoute seems to have a particular affinity with this race having recorded a hugely impressive nine wins as of 2018, putting him out in front in the training ranks. This race has also been the scene of a returning hero on a few occasions over the years, with Lance Chest, Primera, Lomond, Millenary and more recently the ever popular Big Orange all winning back to back editions.

Duchess of Cambridge Stakes

Race Facts
Distance 6f
Grade Group 2
Age 2yo
Prize Fund £80,000
Winner £45,368
First Run 1947

The juvenile fillies provide the chief supporting act on Day 2 in this Group 2 contest held over the straight 6f. With £80,000 (2018) up for grabs this event regularly attracts the speediest and most promising fillies in the game. Initially known as the Cherry Hinton Stakes, the race was renamed in honour of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in 2013.

The top trainers in the game tend to target the stars of their fillies strings at this event, with previous winners of the race often going on to achieve great things. Sweet Solera was good enough both to go on and win the subsequent season’s 1000 Guineas and then even have a race named in her honour. Another to achieve Classic success was the Mark Johnston-trained splay-legged wonder, Attraction, who landed the 2003 edition of this.

Falmouth Stakes

Race Facts
Distance 1m
Grade Group 1
Age 3yo+
Prize Fund £200,000
Winner £113,420
First Run 1911

The first Group 1 contest of the meeting sees the fillies aged three and older line up for this one mile long event which acts as the centrepiece to the Day 2 card. Named in honour of the 6th Viscount Falmouth, who counted horse racing amongst her chief interests, the contest offers £200,000 (2018) in total prize money, and regularly attracts a star studded field.

The tough and talented Soviet Song and Sir Michael Stoute’s Sonic Lady are the only dual winners of the race as of 2018, with the brilliant duo of Goldikova and Alpha Centauri two others to feature prominently on the list of former heroines.

Best Of The Rest

Bunbury Cup

Race Info
Distance
7f
Grade
Class 2
Age
3yo+
Prize Fund
£120,000
Winner
£74,700
First Run
1962

It’s not all about the Group class action at Newmarket in July though, with one of the many attractions of this meeting being the quality and range of the handicaps on offer. The pick of those for us is the historic Bunbury Cup. Taking place on the closing day, this fiercely competitive Class 2 7f event is open to all runners aged three and over. Not always an easy one to call, it does often throw up some winners at tasty odds, rewarding those who manage to unpick the tricky puzzle of this race.

Bahrain Trophy

Race Info
Distance
1m5f
Grade
Group 3
Age
3yo
Prize Fund
£175,000
Winner
£99,242
First Run
1986

The stamina laden three year olds take to the track in this contest which acts as one of the highlights on the opening day. 1m5f is the trip for this Group 3 affair which offers £150,000 (2018) prize money. Three time Arc runner up, Youmzain, St.Leger hero, Masked Marvel and the hugely popular Persian Punch all feature on the roll of honour.

Superlative Stakes

Race Info
Distance
7f
Grade
Group 2
Age
2yo
Prize Fund
£80,000
Winner
£45,368
First Run
1986

The meeting’s top contest for the juvenile colts regularly kicks off the action on the final day. Taking place over the 7f trip, this Group 2 event generally sees a field of Classic aspirants going to post. Won by the likes of Derby winner, Dr. Devious, and one of the greatest stallions of modern times, Dubawi, this is a race well worth keeping an eye on.

July Stakes

Race Info
Distance
6f
Grade
Group 2
Age
2yo
Prize Fund
£80,000
Winner
£45,368
First Run
1786

There’s certainly no shortage of high class two year old action at this meeting, with this Group 2 6f event held on the opening day representing another chance for the youngsters to showcase their talents. Having first been run in 1786, this is actually the oldest two year old contest run anywhere in the world. The speedy 1985 winner Green Desert is the standout amongst the list of previous winners, both for his exploits at the track and subsequently as a stallion, with many of his progeny, including Cape Cross and Desert Prince going on to great things.

History

There are few – if any – racing venues that are quite so steeped in history as Newmarket. Harking all the way back to 1667, when the track acted as the venue for match races between the nobles, it wasn’t long before the Suffolk course soon became the epicentre of the flat racing world.

It was close to a hundred years after those first knockings of racing at the track that this meeting came into being in 1765. Initially a two day affair, the popularity and quality of the festival continued to grow in subsequent years, which saw a number of the contests we know and love to this day join the party. Firstly we saw the July Stakes added in 1786, with the July Cup itself following in 1876.

The names of the other races here are littered with significant figures from racing’s gilded past, none more so than that of Sir Charles Bunbury. Bunbury was the man behind both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas held at this track, and also played a significant role in the introduction of the Derby itself. Indeed – but for a lost coin toss – the Derby – and all other Derby’s held around the world – would likely have been known as the Bunbury. The Kentucky Bunbury anyone?

It’s safe to say things have come a long way from those initial £100 match races held at the course, with the event now encompassing three days, and offering in excess of £1.2million in total prize money. Now well into its fourth century – how many sporting events can say that? – this excellent meeting is showing no signs of slowing down just yet.

A Complete History of the July Festival

Newmarket’s July Festival combines music, fashion and top-class horse racing to create a truly wonderful three-day summer spectacle. Its history goes back more than 250 years and below is a timeline of the key events that have shaped this brilliant meeting.

1765 – July Fixture Created

Newmarket introduced a fourth date to its racing calendar in July. Sometimes only featuring a small handful of races in its early years, by the following century the meeting spanned the course of a few days. The July Festival was born!

1786 – First Running of the July Stakes

The July Stakes is run for the first time. Now the longest running race specifically for two year olds in British flat racing, this is a six furlong sprint and, as of 2003, a Group 2 race. Bullfinch was the first winner of this one and whilst there can be no repeat victors from an equine perspective, George Fordham and Sir Gordon Richards have both ridden a record six winners in this historic contest.

1876 – Inaugural July Cup

The July Cup, now the centrepiece of the entire July Festival, was founded. The globally recognised six furlong dash crowns the champion European sprinter in the eyes of many and is a real highlight of the July Festival. Now a Group 1 contest, Springfield won the first two renewals and Sundridge is the only horse to land three July Cups, winning consecutively from 1902.

1894 – Creation of the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes

The Princess of Wales’s Stakes is run for the first time, the £10,000 contest being won by Isinglass, who had won the 2000 Guineas the previous year. Now a Group 2, this is run over 1m4f, having been extended from one mile in 1902. In recent times Big Orange (2015 and 2016) and Millenary (2002 and 2003), have joined the short list of multiple winners of the race.

1894 – Bunbury Cup Added

The Bunbury Cup is also added to the Newmarket card and honours British politician Sir Charles Bunbury, who is credited with introducing the 1000 and 2000 Guineas to Newmarket. The seven furlong handicap is open to all horses three and up and has been won three times by Mine (2002, 2005 and 2006).

1900 – Doricles shares the spotlight

Future St Leger champion Doricles secured the first win of his career in the July Stakes but it was a win shared with Veles following a dead heat. In the same race, Handicapper, who a year later beat Doricles to 2000 Guineas glory, finished among the unplaced finishers.

1911 – The First Falmouth Stakes

The (now) Group 1 Falmouth Stakes was established, a race contested over one mile, originally restricted to fillies aged three-years-old but now open to fillies and mares of that age and above. The name honours Evelyn Boscawen, a leading racehorse owner and the 6th Viscount Falmouth. The simply named Alice won the inaugural contest and since then Lester Piggott has ridden a record seven winners in this historic contest.

1929 – Tote Introduced On Course

Spectators of the July Festival now enjoyed the Tote by the course. It was the first major meeting in which the Government-owned corporation ever appeared.

1931 – Dead Heat

The Princess of Wales’s Stakes witnessed its first and only dead heat before the advent of the photo finish. Judges, unable to determine who crossed the line first, had no choice but to award the race to both Shell Transport and The Recorder.

1940 – Rowley Mile Used as WWII Airbase

The RAF commandeers the use of the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, turning it into an official Bomber Command Airbase. The July Course is then used all-year round for racing, making Newmarket the only course that remained operational during then entire course of the conflict.

1947 – Cherry Hinton Stakes Introduced

The Cherry Hinton Stakes is first run, with Great Fun taking the honours. Now called the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes, this six furlong contest for the fillies is one to watch as a guide to who might deliver the goods in the following year’s 1000 Guineaas.

1965 – Starting Stalls Used for the First Time

The July Festival sees the use of starting stalls, yet to be introduced at any other racecourse in the country.

1977 – Gentilhombre Awarded Controversial July Cup

Marinsky finishes first in the July Cup but shortly after the race is demoted to second following a stewards’ inquiry. Gentilhombre is instead crowned champion, with the win later seeing him named the best sprinter in Europe.

1977 – Girls excluded from July Stakes

For nearly two centuries the July Stakes had been open to horses of both genders but this changed in 1977. Fillies could no longer take part with only colts and geldings now available for the six furlong sprint.

1991 – Bahrain Trophy moves

In previous July Festivals, the Bahrain Trophy had been the name of a seven furlong handicap restricted to three-year-olds. In 1991 however the name transferred to another event, replacing the H & K Commissions Stakes which in previous years had been run as a handicap. The new Bahrain Trophy took place over a distance of one mile and seven furlongs and carried Listed status.

1992 – Piggott Takes July Cup Total to Ten

Lester Piggott makes it win number 10 in the July Cup as he rides Mr Brooks to glory at Newmarket. Only in one other Group 1 race (the Ascot Gold Cup) did the legendary jockey enjoy more victories.

1999 – Royal Line disqualified

For the first time in Godolphin’s history, one of their horses failed a post-race test. The culprit was the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Royal Line who finished first in the Bahrain Trophy. The victory was scrapped from the record books however when tests revealed pentoxifylline in Royal Line’s system and instead Aidan O’Brien’s Moon Dragon claimed the win.

2002 – Clerk of the Scales Expels Capricho

Capricho crosses the finishing post neck and neck with the James Bethell-trained Mine for a rare dead heat in the Bunbury Cup. During the weigh-in though it was discovered Capricho ran 9lbs under his correct weight as trainer John Akehurst, who was fined £1,500 for the incident, forgot to add the weight cloth. Or should that be “forgot”?!

2004 – Falmouth Promoted to Group 1 Status

The Falmouth Stakes is handed Group 1 status, joining the July Cup as the festival’s two elite level races.

2004 – Dubawis First Group Win

Legendary stud Dubawi lands the Group 2 (then Group 3) Superlative Stakes with Frankie Dettori in the saddle. The Superlative Stakes was renamed thus in 1991 having originally been named in honour of the trainer Bernard van Cutsem Stakes, who died in 1975.

2007 – Creation of the Henry Cecil Stakes

The Xplor Conditions Stakes is added to the card and is won by Traffic Guard. Now called the Sir Henry Cecil Stakes, this one mile listed contest honours the legendary 10-time Champion Trainer.

2007 – July Course Redevelopment

Redevelopment work on the July Course is complete. The £10m project saw the removal of redundant buildings behind the Grandstands, which made way for new bars, catering outlets and toilets. Another new addition was that of the twin pavilion buildings, connected by an aerial walkway which has proved a hit among July Festival attendees.

2009 – Bahrain Trophy Given Group 3 Status

The Bahrain Trophy becomes a Group 3 contest and is a key race on the July Meeting’s card. Normally featuring on the opening day of the festival, this 1m5f contest offered almost £100,000 to the winner in 2019.

2014 – Cavalryman finally fires

With Newmarket form reading 223 you might have thought Cavalryman had missed out on his chance to win at the course. At the ripe age of eight-year-old however the Godolphin runner claimed a neck’s length win after setting an especially slow pace in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes. By doing so he became the only horse older than six to win this race in decades.

2016 – 350th Anniversary

The historic Newmarket Town Plate, inaugurated in 1665 by the order of King Charles, marks the beginning of the July Festival. Typically the three mile six furlong contest runs later in the summer but organisers brought it forward as a way of celebrating Newmarket’s 350th anniversary.

2019 – Silver Bunbury Cup dropped

Having only managed to attract seven declared runners in 2018, Michael Prosser, clerk of the course at Newmarket, announced that the Silver Bunbury Cup would be under review. After some careful deliberation, Prosser and his colleagues opted to axe the Cup from the following July Festival schedule, replacing it with the brand new bet365 Trophy. The decision proved a popular one as 69 horses found themselves entered for the new £120,000 contest, targeted for older stayers.