Newmarket is in the county of Suffolk very close to its border with Cambridgeshire.
Newmarket is a wonderful place, it really is and has a heritage in horseracing which is second to none. Horseracing in Newmarket has been dated back to 1174. There are two courses, The Rowley Mile and The July Course. The July Course is used during June, July and August. There are 50+ training stables, housing well in excess of 3000 racehorses. About 1/3 of local jobs are horseracing related. If you are visiting Newmarket for any length of time and if you have a genuine interest in The Sport Of Kings, there are a number of places well worth visiting.
Newmarket Racecourse itself does host a number of live music events throughout the summer which follow on from that evenings race meeting.
There are lots of nice watering holes in the town also doing decent food. I particularly recommend The Rutland Arms Hotel. I can’t recommend any places to stay in the town as I’ve not stayed in any, but Trip Advisor and other websites are very good for covering that.
Newmarket is close to the University City of Cambridge and is within easy reach of London. The roads around here in all directions are very good.
The Rowley Mile is a Grade 1, wide galloping and undulating track, two and a half miles in length with a right-hand turn into a 10 furlong straight. The stiff uphill finish places an emphasis on stamina and balance. There isn’t usually a draw bias but it’s always worth having a look at the previous days results (if any) to see if any prevails at that time. The drainage at the course is exceptional making heavy bottomless ground a rarity.
The Rowley Mile hosts the first two Classics of the season (2000 Guineas and 1000 Guineas) in early May along with a host of other top class races in Spring and Autumn. The quality of racing here is exceptionally good.
Clerk of the course: Michael Prosser
Racecourse telephone: 01638 663482
This is the closest to town of the two courses.
Newmarket is close to the University City of Cambridge (16 miles) and is within easy reach of London (about 65 miles). The roads around here in all directions are very good. The M11 is close by which will take you all the way to the outskirts of London. The A14 comes all the way over from the West Midlands. Avoid the town on the bigger meetings (unlike me) as traffic gets stupidly busy. Parking at the course is ample and free. Post Code is CB8 0XE
There are trains from Cambridge to Newmarket and if coming from further afield then Cambridge is the place to change. There is a complementary bus service which picks up in the town and at the railway station.
If you fancy the walk then its a couple of miles out of town.
Facilities on the course are from the top shelf. There’s lots of different type of food available and it’s of a good quality. There are plenty of bars too and all very well organised and not overly expensive. I personally had a pasty from a stall just inside the grandstand and it was spot on!
If I have a criticism, then it would be that there is no restriction on taking alcoholic drinks into the viewing and betting area or at least if there is then it wasn’t enforced. Once upon a time, this was restricted at all racecourses. The problem today was that being a large crowd, accidents did happen, and I did see one or two heated moments as a result of drinks being spilt. They were nothing like the disgraceful scenes witnessed at Goodwood this afternoon though. Who needs it?
Out the back of the grandstand there was a big screen for those wanting to watch the race. There was live music playing later in the afternoon. There were staff walking around carrying beer containers so as to provide refills. There were also plenty of staff on litter patrols. All told it was very good atmosphere.
It’s a long drive over from Herefordshire but well worth the effort. I struggle with big crowds and will rarely visit such days during this project. But I have always liked this meeting and have tended to do well here from a betting perspective. Today was no exception, I found three winners and left with a reasonable profit for my day.
It cost £35 to get into the Grandstand which compared to other sports isn’t so bad really, though racecourse entry is usually cheaper. Racecourses, Newmarket included, price up their entrance fees according to the days importance. A lesser day at Newmarket is quieter and cheaper to get in.
The 2000 Guineas was won impressively by ‘Saxon Warrior’ from the powerful Aiden O’Brien Stable at Ballydoyle on Ireland. He thankfully carried my money too. I imagine he will go to Epsom at the start of June to contest the Derby. I will be interested to see if John Gosdens ‘Roaring Lion’ who finished fifth today, beaten 2 1/2 lengths will again oppose him there, the extra half mile looking certain to suit.
I had a nice few quid on Key Victory in the second last and Symbolization in the last to make this a very decent start to my project.
Certainly an enjoyable day and I’m considering coming again tomorrow for the 1000 Guineas though I have a ticket for Chelsea v Liverpool too. I will certainly be back later in the summer to visit the July Course.