Newmarket July Festival

The Newmarket July Festival has a popular spot in the summer racing calendar with three days of high-class action held at Newmarket Racecourse.

It does not have the pomp and ceremony of Royal Ascot with a far more relaxed atmosphere but the quality of the sport remains top class.

The July Cup is the big race of the week with the Falmouth Stakes on day 2 providing the other Group 1 action. There are also some top two-year-old races, a St Leger trial and the ultra-competitive Bunbury Cup.

Newmarket July Festival

Newmarket July Festival Day 1

Day one looks like this:

Princess of Wales’s Stakes

The Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes over a mile and a half is open to three-year-olds and upwards.

It was established in 1894 with victory going to Isinglass who became the sixth horse to win the English Triple Crown.

The race was promoted to Group 2 level in 1978.

There have been five dual winners, the most recent being popular stayer Big Orange (2015, 2016).

Sir Michael Stoute has an outstanding record in this race with nine winners; Shardari (1986), Rock Hopper (1991), Saddler’s Hall (1992), Little Rock (2000), Gamut (2005), Papal Bull (2007), Doctor Fremantle (2009), Crystal Capella (2011) and Fiorente (2012).

July Stakes

The July Stakes is a Group 2 race for two-year-old colts and geldings over six furlongs.

It was first run in 1786 and regularly attracts horses successful at Royal Ascot in June.

Many recent winners have gone on to excel over sprint distances, although Noverre (2000) won the Sussex Stakes over a mile as a three-year-old.

Other notable winners include Green Desert (1985), First Trump (1993), Shalaa (2015) and Advertise (2018).

Bahrain Trophy

The Bahrain Trophy is a Group 3 race over one mile and five furlongs for three-year-olds.

The race was originally run as a handicap but acquired listed status in 1990 and quickly became established as a St Leger trial.

Masked Marvel (2011) is the only horse to win both races to date, although it has produced top stayers including Persian Punch (1996), Youmzain (2006) and Hartnell (2014).

Sir Henry Cecil Stakes

The Sir Henry Cecil Stakes honours the ten times Champion trainer who passed away in 2013.

This listed contest is restricted to three-year-olds over a mile and was formerly run as the Stubbs Stakes.

Notable winners in its short history include Lumiere (2016) and Beat The Bank (2017).

Newmarket July Festival Day 2

The second day looks like this:

Falmouth Stakes History & Famous winners

The Group 1 Falmouth Stakes over a mile is restricted to fillies and mares aged three years and upwards.

It is one of the major targets for fillies that ran in the 1000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes and features an intriguing clash of the generations.

The race was established in 1911 with victory going to Alice.

There have been two dual winners; Sonic Lady (1986, 1987) and Soviet Song (2004, 2005). Sonic Lady was trained by Sir Michael Stoute who has won the race six times, most recently with Veracious in 2019.

Other notable winners of the Falmouth Stakes include Al Bahathri (1985), Goldikova (2009) and Alpha Centauri (2018). Goldikova (2008-2010) went on the become the only horse to win three Breeders’ Cup Mile races.

Duchess of Cambridge Stakes

The Duchess of Cambridge Stakes is a Group 2 race for two-year-old fillies over six furlongs.

It was originally run as the Cherry Hinton Stakes in 1947 with victory going to Great Fun.

This race has been won by subsequent Classic winners including Sweet Solera (1960), Diminuendo (1987), Sayyedati (1992) and Attraction (2003).

Newmarket July Festival Day 3

The big action is:

July Cup History & Famous winners

The Group 1 July Cup is one of the most prestigious sprint races of the season.

The winner is often hailed as the champion sprinter of Europe.

The race was first run in 1876 with the first two runnings both won by Springfield. Sundridge (1902-1904) became the first horse to win the race three times. The race was upgraded to Group 1 status in 1978 and has remained the feature race of Newmarket’s July Festival.

Lester Piggott rode a record ten July Cup winners between 1957 and 1992 including Thatch (1973), Moorestyle (1980) and Mr Brooks (1992).

Aidan O’Brien equalled the record of five training successes shared by Charles Morton (1903-1914) and Vincent O’Brien (1973-1990).

The International appeal of the July Cup is illustrated by the victory of Agnes World (2000), trained by Hideyuki Mori in Japan.

Other notable winners include Oasis Dream (2003), Starspangledbanner (2010), Muhaarar (2015) and Limato (2016).

Superlative Stakes

The Group 2 Superlative Stakes is for two-year-olds over seven furlongs.

It was originally known as the Bernard van Cutsem Stakes, named after a leading trainer, but was changed in 1983 to honour a prolific two-year-old.

The race was promoted to Group 2 status in 2006, two years’ after subsequent Irish 2000 Guineas winner Dubawi was successful here.

The most notable winner since was Olympic Glory (2012) who won the 2013 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Bunbury Cup

The Bunbury Cup is one of the big betting races of the week, a hotly contested handicap over seven furlongs.

Mine famously won this race three times in 2002, 2005 and 2006.

Richard Fahey has enjoyed success here with Brae Hill (2011), Heaven’s Guest (2014) and Rene Mathis (2015). There has only been one successful outright favourite in the past 17 years.

Best Trainers & Jockeys at The Newmarket July Festival

Newmarket trainers Sir Michael Stoute and John Gosden are regularly among the winners here.

The powerful Godolphin stables of Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby are also well represented, particularly in the two-year-old races. Jockeys to note include William Buick, James Doyle and Jim Crowley.

Betting on Newmarket July Festival 2021

There is a strong ante-post market on the July Cup with top sprinters aimed at the race since Royal Ascot.

There have only been two winning favourites in the race in the past ten renewals; Limato (2016) and Slade Power (2014).

The Bunbury Cup is another competitive betting heat and bookmakers usually offer enhanced place terms on this race.

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Also check out our guide to the best horse racing betting sites in the UK.

Summary of the Moet Chandon July Festival

The Newmarket July Festival is one of the friendliest summer meetings in the UK’s racing calendar, as you can imagine held on the July Course of Newmarket racecourses.

The informal atmosphere of the July course provides the perfect backdrop to some high class racing. As well as a great Ladies Day on the Thursday.

There are always some top stars on show as the action builds to the exciting climax of the Group 1 July Cup on Saturday afternoon.

As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.