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Historic home of Champions

While Newmarket has two racecourses, the QIPCO Guineas Festival takes place on the older of the two; the Rowley Mile. 

 

Racing on the Rowley Mile takes place in Spring and Autumn, and feature some of the most historic races in the British turf calendar.

 

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What makes the Rowley Mile special?

 

  • It is actually longer than a mile – the straight alone is 1 mile, 2 furlongs. The track is wide and open, encouraging strongly run races.
  • It hosts the first two Classic races of the season, the 2000 Guineas and the 1000 Guineas.
  • It is named after Charles II’s favourite stallion, Old Rowley. Rowley also became a nickname for the king himself, who had many mistresses.
  • It has been raced on since the 17th century and the grass has been untouched since it was last ploughed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell.
  • The airstrips on the Rowley Mile were used during the Second World War by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as RAF Newmarket.
  • The wide nature of the track means it is able to host races such as the Cambridgeshire Handicap and the Cesarewitch Handicap , which both have a maximum field size of 35.

 

Key features

Newmarket heath is flat and large, so the furlong markers are an important way of finding out how your horse is doing. But listen out for these two features:

 

'The Bushes' which are two furlongs (400 m) out and are an important marker for jockeys and spectators alike

 

The Dip lies between the last two furlongs. The penultimate furlong is downhill and the last is uphill, which forms a natural dip in the course

 

Look out for

  • Charles II – Old Rowley continues on look down on his favourite racecourse in a statue created for the 350 anniversary of the founding of the town
  • The statues of Eclipse & Persian Punch – two equine heroes who plied their trade on the course two centuries apart are commemorated with stunning bronzes
  • The Frankel Lounge – with views onto the parade ring, this restaurant has a collection of memorabilia dedicated to the greatest racehorse of recent times
Fri 05-Sun 07 May | Newmarket

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