It has been fantastic to welcome full crowds back to The Rowley Mile as our Flat season returns, with racegoers able to attend the bet365 Craven meeting and QIPCO Guineas Festival for the first time since 2019.
The ongoing theme has certainly been success for the boys in blue: Godolphin, Charlie Appleby and their team of jockeys William Buick and James Doyle. With seven winners across the bet365 Craven meeting for William Buick, and five for Charlie Appleby, they certainly started the season here with a bang. Champion Two Year Old Native Trail was the stand out horse of the meeting with a striking performance in the Group Three bet365 Craven Stakes, whilst Cachet provided local trainer George Boughey with his first domestic Group Three winner in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes.
Newmarket trainer Roger Varian then stole the show from Appleby, Buick and Godolphin on the final day of the bet365 Craven meeting, when his Eydon won the bet365 Fielden Stakes under David Egan. Having only his third start, he put his best foot forward and showed his bright future when beating the smart Andrew Balding trained Masekala.
Moving on to the QIPCO Guineas Festival, there was much to look forward to, with all leading horses from the trials at the bet365 Craven meeting stepping forward to re-oppose.
Coroebus prevailed from his better-fancied stable companion Native Trail in the first Classic of the season, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, when winning for Charlie Appleby, a fourth Classic for the Newmarket trainer. It was a first for jockey James Doyle, however, who had come close to QIPCO 2000 Guineas success in the past, finishing runner up in both 2014 and 2017.
James Doyle then rode his way into the history books on QIPCO 1000 Guineas Day, as Cachet won the big race for the large ownership group Highclere Thoroughbred Racing. Doyle became only the fifth jockey to ride the winner of both the 2000 Guineas and the 1000 Guineas over the same weekend, whilst Newmarket trainer George Boughey became one of the youngest trainers to win a Classic at the ripe age of 30.
We were delighted to host The Festival of Suffolk Raceday and to see the sun come out for a fantastic celebration of the county. We were treated to some great racing, a fitting way to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee given she is such a passionate owner and breeder of racehorses. After such a long time without spectators to have so many people from across the county join us gave things a real festival feel. The day also supported the Cambridge Children’s Hospital Campaign. The new hospital will treat children and young people from across the eastern region, including Suffolk.