Situated in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, Newmarket Racecourse is regarded as the home of flat racing and is an epicentre of British horse racing steeped in tradition. The course can trace its roots back as far as 1622 when the first horse race on the site took place. Lord Sailsbury and Marquess of Buckingham had a £100 wager between them and a few years later, Newmarket racecourse was born. Fast forward 400 years and horse racing has become the second largest spectator sport in the country, with Newmarket playing host to regular meets attracting punters in their tens of thousands!
Popular Meets at Newmarket Racecourse
The Qipco Guineas Festival
The Qipco Guineas Festival is held each year in late April or early May at Newmarket Racecourse, and is split over 3 days. Throughout the weekend, Newmarket hosts 2 of Britain’s 5 Classic Races- the 2000 Guineas Stakes on Saturday and the 1000 Guineas Stakes on Sunday. The 2000 Guineas Stakes was first run in 1809, is run over Rowley Mile (a 1 mile distance) and also serves as the first leg of the prestigious ‘Triple Crown’.
One of the most important meets of the year with a purse to match, with over £500,000 was awarded for each race back in 2019; a significant improvement on the original purse of £1.05 back in 1809!
Newmarket Racecourse hosts its legendary ‘Newmarket Nights’ across multiple dates throughout the summer. These special meets begin and finish much later than their regular counterparts. Gates will open around 4 pm and you will be treated to a full racing schedule, before enjoying an evening performance by some of the biggest names in music. Previous headliners include The Script, Rick Astley, Rudimental, Jess Glynne, McFly, Bryan Ferry, Tom Jones and Olly Murs. The 2022 lineup includes: Paloma Faith, The Script and Pete Tong.
The dress code for Newmarket Nights is dependent on the enclosure you’re in, but is essentially the same as any meet at Newmarket Racecourse. That means, within The Premier Enclosure, dark or smart trousers with a smart shirt and formal shoes for men (but no suit required); and smart evening-wear for women (hat or fascinator optional). Within The Grandstand and Paddock/Family Enclosure expect more casual attire, such as T-shirts and shorts, fancy dress is also permitted in these areas.
The Moët & Chandon July Festival
Hosted at the picturesque and quintessentially British July Course, The Moët & Chandon July Festival features horse racing, fashion, food and entertainment across 3 incredible days!
Thursday is our hugely popular ‘Ladies Day’, combining thrilling racing with fashion, fun and fascinators in the biggest social event of the calendar. Ladies Day offers a 7 race card, headlined by the Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes, previously won by Ascot Gold Cup Winner, Big Orange. The competition doesn’t end with the racing, as prizes are given out to the best dressed racegoers off the track. The headline race on Friday is the Group One Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes, run over 1 mile. Saturday hosts the weekend’s headline race, the Darley July Cup is a Group 1 race run over 6 furlongs. This internationally renowned race brings horses and jockeys from around the world, all looking to take their place in history, by winning one of the most acclaimed sprint races around.
The Dubai Future Champions Festival
The Dubai Future Champions Festival is the highlight of the Gold Season at Newmarket. This festival is split over 2 days and is a fantastic opportunity to watch the up and coming talent and future stars of the sport. The Friday (previously known as Autumn Ladies Day) features some electrifying racing including the bet365 Fillies’ Mile & Old Rowley Cup. The bet365 Fillies’ Mile, contested by 2 year old horses, has seen recent winners (Minding 2015 and Laurens 2017) go on to win Group One races. Day one also hosts The Autumn Style Awards, where judges compare the best outfits, with a number of prizes on offer.
The Dubai Future Champions Day is hosted on Saturday, and is one of the most eagerly anticipated days of the British horse racing calendar. The main event is the Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes over 7 furlongs. Then there’s the hugely prestigious Cesarewitch Handicap over 2 miles and 2 furlongs, which, along with the Cambridgeshire Handicap, makes up the second leg of the ‘autumn double’.
Other Newmarket Racecourse Meets
The racing calendar at Newmarket begins with The bet365 Craven Meeting in April each year, and then we see a jam-packed diary across the summer months, with meets almost every weekend through to October. Long after the summer draws to a close, Newmarket still hosts some major events, including Cesarewitch Day, Sun Chariot Day, Dubai Future Champions Festival, Two Year Old Day and The Final Meet.
Enclosures at Newmarket Racecourse
The Premier Enclosure
If you want the full Newmarket races experience then look no further than the Premier Enclosure. With unrivalled views of the racing and access to everywhere from the pre-parade ring to the winner’s enclosure, you can track the journey of your chosen horses throughout their day.
You’ll not be short for choices of where to eat and drink either. From the famous Moët & Chandon champagne bar to the Bistro on the Rowley Mile, you’ll be able to drink and dine in style during your day.
Bear in mind that if you decide to go all out in the premier enclosure, you’ll be expected to dress up for the occasion.
The Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure
If you’re looking for a no-frills option, but still want as much of the race day experience and atmosphere as possible, then the Grandstand & Paddock could be for you. You’ll be guaranteed a fair view of the racing and access to the pre-parade ring, parade ring and winners enclosure too. The Grandstand is our most popular ticket type and provides punters with an array of bars and food stalls as well as more than enough opportunities to place your bets.
The Garden Enclosure
The Garden Enclosure is the perfect environment if you want to bring your family along for the day. With two children’s play areas, plenty of space for picnics, food and drink options and betting facilities, you can relax and enjoy your day away from the crowds.
If you plan on getting tickets to the Garden or Grandstand & Paddock enclosures the dress code is more relaxed, although who doesn’t like dressing up a little?