The bet365 Craven Meeting at Newmarket Racecourse
The bet365 Craven Meeting heralds the beginning of a new season of racing on Newmarket’s historic Rowley Mile. As the horses burst from the stalls and race down the straight towards the grandstands, racing’s ‘HQ’ comes alive once more with the sound of thundering hooves and cheering spectators.
This three-day fixture, first staged in 1771, provides thrilling action on the track and some key clues to the weeks and months ahead. The feature race is the Group Three bet365 Craven Stakes on the Wednesday of the meeting, which traditionally acts as a trial for the first Classic of the season – the following month’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas – held over the same course and distance.
With fresh turf and a feeling of anticipation in the air, Newmarket’s season gets underway with a fantastic seven-race afternoon of racing. The highlight is the Group Three Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes, a trial for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas. The race threw up some serious Classic clues as recently as 2018, when the fourth-placed Billesdon Brook struck in the Classic the following month.
The action comes thick and fast on day two, with seven high-class races including the feature race of the meeting, the bet365 Craven Stakes. This Group Three contest traditionally acts as a trial for the first Classic of the season, the following month’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas.
Wednesday’s Group Three Abernant Stakes is another which sees high class contenders lining up. The race has helped develop some of racing’s very best sprinters, with Oxted (2020) and Mayson (2012) going on to win the Darley July Cup in the last decade alone.
Thursday’s action is headlined by the Listed bet365 Feilden Stakes, which in recent memory has been won by subsequent Cazoo Derby winner Golden Horn (2015) and future French Derby winner Intello (2013).