Welcome to our official guide to Newmarket Racecourse, the Home of British racing. In this section we explore this great racecourse in detail, looking at its rich history, a guide to both of its main courses (the Rowley Mile course and the July Course), as well as local hotel picks, fixtures, the main races, travel information and even the weather!
- 1 Overview
- 2 Racecourse History
- 3 Main Races and Events at Newmarket
- 4 Newmarket Racecourse Map
- 5 Newmarket Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Newmarket Racecourse
- 7 Hotels Near Newmarket Racecourse
- 8 Betting Shops Local to Newmarket Racecourse
- 9 Best Newmarket Online Betting Sites
- 10 Newmarket Racecourse Fixtures
- 11 Newmarket Weather
- 12 Other Events
- 13 Summary
- 14 Other racecourses
Newmarket racecourse is a premier thoroughbred British horseracing venue, the current headquarters of flat racing, and boasts not one, but two, separate courses: the Rowley Mile and the July Course. It is one of the most famous and iconic racecourses in the entire world.
With a long tradition of racing the town itself is also often described as ‘the home of British horseracing’, and when you visit, you’ll see why; Newmarket lives and breathes everything equine with a huge amount of the town’s population directly employed in the industry, almost everyone you meet is directly involved in racing or breeding and with and able to tell you a story or two, that will have you engaged and entertained.
Newmarket town itself is home to the largest number of training yards in Great Britain, along with other major racing and equestrian organisations, these including Tattersalls (the main sales ring), the National Study and the Nation Horseracing Museum; Newmarket is a must for any racing fan.
Both of Newmarket’s tracks host flat racing only, and each has a capacity of just over 20,000 attendees.
The Rowley Mile is a mainly a straight course of one mile and two furlongs in length. Races any longer than this are started slightly off the track and turn right-handed into the long straight. Newmarket is known for its dip (downhill run) from about the 2-furlong pole before a stiff uphill finish.
The July Course is a slightly shorter one-mile straight course, comprising of a long downhill route before an uphill finish in the last furlong, as with the Rowley Mile.
There is technically a third track at Newmarket, but it’s not entirely relevant to modern-day racing and is used just once a year for the historical Newmarket Town Plate. This is known as ‘the Round Course’.
Newmarket racecourse hosts a packed calendar of events year-round, and like many other British racecourses it has branched out to become a multi-purpose events venue that’s a local favourite for gigs, weddings and large parties.
Racing at Newmarket can be traced back to 1622, when Lord Salisbury and the Marquess of Buckingham challenged each other to a race for the prize sum of £100; although it wasn’t for another fourteen years that any course was formally founded.
Some years later, In 1665, Charles II inaugurated the Newmarket Town Plate, a race still run at the course to this day.
FACT – When Charles II passed away, he became – and remains – the only monarch to have ever ‘raced a winner’ in a British horserace!
By 1840, there were seven annual race meetings run at Newmarket and the town around it was fast gaining a reputation as ‘the place to be’ for those who enjoyed or wanted to work in the sport. It undoubtedly is still that today.
Whilst Newmarket may not have continued its Royal patronage quite as much as other notable courses in the UK, such as Ascot, it remains the course of favour for jockeys, trainers and experts in horseracing. It is well attended and well regarded, with many major meetings and events happening here every year.
Main Races and Events at Newmarket
It’s difficult to identify the biggest or most important of Newmarket’s race events – as there are so many – with the course hosting a clutch of Group 1 and other major race meetings throughout the year.
The biggest races held at the track are considered to be:
- 2000 Guineas – the 2,000 Guineas Stake is a Group 1 held on the first Saturday in May and is the start of the Guineas Festival. It is the first leg of the English Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (the other races being The Derby and St Leger). The 2000 Guineas is a straight one-mile race open to 3-year-old colts.
- The 1000 Guineas – is ran the very next day to the 2000 Guineas. Again a race of Group 1 status, the 1,000 Guineas Stake is identical track and trip to the 2000 but is open to 3-year-old fillies only.
- The July Cup – is a six-furlong flat-out sprint and another Group 1 event. Many winners go on to be identified as that year’s Champion Sprinter.
- The Newmarket Town Plate – is run on the Round Course annually, over three miles and six furlongs. A historical-cultural race, prizes include a box of locally-sourced sausages and is open to amateur jockeys only.
- The Fillies Mile – a one-mile, Group 1 race for 2-year-old fillies as part of the Dubai Future Champions meeting.
- Dewhurst Stakes – a 6-furlong Group 1 for 2-year-olds, often identifies the best 2-year-old colt of that generation.
- Cheveley Park – a 6 furlong Group 1 contest for 2-year-old fillies.
- The Cambridgeshire – a 1m 1furlong competitive handicap ran towards the end of the season always draws a large field and large crowd.
- The Cesarewitch – a tough long-distance handicap ran over 2miles and 2 furlongs is ran in late autumn and another hugely popular meeting.
- Falmouth – a Group 2 mile contest held in mid-summer is a popular and social meeting.
- Prince of Wales – a Group 2 ran over 1m 4 furlongs on the July course.
As mentioned, there are almost too many top races to mention but the above are some of the main ones.
Newmarket Racecourse Map
As mentioned there are two main tracks at Newmarket, The Rowley is used throughout the spring and autumn seasons, and the July, perhaps unsurprisingly, through the summer.
With a long sweeping straight most of the races take place on a straight course but as the map above outlines long distances are accommodated with just one bend taken. This means that draw bias is not so important and with a wide and spacious straight often the better horses come to the fore.
Newmarket Racecourse Address
The official address is:
The Rowley Mile
How To Get To Newmarket Racecourse
By car – Newmarket is situated in Suffolk and is easily reached by road from London or Cambridge. There is ample free parking and four electric vehicle charging points.
Train – a train station is in the centre of the town and a taxi can be taken to the course, or a walk will take approximately 15 minutes.
Coaches – on race days, coaches and buses service the course directly from Newmarket town centre and areas further afield.
Air – there are private airstrips available for patrons, but these must be booked in advance.
Hotels Near Newmarket Racecourse
Newmarket isn’t the largest of towns, but there are a few accommodation options for those choosing to extend their stay beyond just a day at the races. The town is walking distance from both courses, and popular hotels include the Bedford Lodge and Spa (a family-run 18th century boutique spa hotel), the Premier Inn Newmarket (a budget choice with free breakfast) and the Best Western Heath Court Hotel (an informal and relaxed hotel with restaurant and bar).
As Newmarket is frequented by so many ‘in the industry’ for work, you’ll also find a good selection of serviced apartments available for short-term hire; so if you’re looking to take a few days out and can work on a self-catering basis, these may be worth looking into.
Also, check out the fantastic range of brilliant hotels available via Booking.com below:
Betting Shops Local to Newmarket Racecourse
Newmarket Racecourse has betting shops and Tote facilities in all enclosures, and mobile phone signal boosters in the area give the opportunity for patrons to place bets online through their devices, even in the middle of blissful countryside! Newmarket staff are extremely used to dealing with first-time race-goers, so don’t hesitate to ask if you need any advice on having a flutter. You can find the usual independent bookies close to the track, but how many can vary by event.
In Newmarket town centre, you can find branches of Ladbrokes and Paddypower, though please note that one Ladbrokes branch is situated inside the local shopping centre (known as The Guineas) and so abides strictly by their opening and closing times.
Best Newmarket Online Betting Sites
At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue.
If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals for new customers:
Newmarket Racecourse Fixtures
Due to Covic 19 many horse racing fixtures have been rescheduled, we will update you asap.
Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable. Here’s the current weather forecast for Newmarket:
Newmarket is a stunning venue for large parties and often frequented for weddings.
A diversification into music has seen the summer evenings hosting live music concerts after a day of racing, with the 2020 ‘Newmarket Nights’ season having booked the likes of Tom Jones, The Pussycat Dolls, Brian Ferry, Rick Astley, McFly and Alfie Boe.
Newmarket is the current HQ of flat racing and is affectionately known as ‘The Home of Horse Racing’. A trip to Newmarket is a must for any racing fan with superb facilities, knowledgable crowds and a rich history. It is a place you will want to stay for a few days to soak up the atmosphere. We adore Newmarket, it is truly the most wonderful course and town – make sure you visit!
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