The Gold Season at Newmarket Racecourse is on the horizon, and there’s plenty to look forward to at what is often referred to as British horseracing’s HQ. Gold Season spans across four weekends throughout September and early October, boasting five of Newmarket’s nine seasonal Group 1s, and some massive meetings. So, with less than a month to go until the autumn events get underway, let’s take a look at the four meetings that make up the Gold Season. Read on to find out more!
18-19 September: Cesarewitch Trial Day & Henry Cecil Open Weekend
The Gold Season kicks off with the Cesarewitch Trial Day and Henry Cecil Open Weekend between 18-19 September. Racegoers will be treated to a thrilling seven-race card on 18 September, which is headlined by the Cesarewitch Trial — limbering the horses up for the Cesarewitch Heritage Handicap, a race that will take place at the later Future Champions Festival. With it being Henry Cecil Open Weekend, racegoers will get an exciting opportunity to see behind the scenes at Newmarket, which is, of course, the home of British horse racing!
23-25 September: Cambridgeshire Meeting
One of The Gold Season’s biggest events, the Cambridgeshire Meeting is also the longest, taking place across three days in late September. The meeting boasts seven Group races, including day one’s feature race, the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes, and day two’s dual Group 2 races, the Rockfel Stakes and the Joel Stakes. The final day, also known as Juddmonte Day, is the peak of the action, with two Group 1 races — the Cheveley Park Stakes and the Middle Park Stakes, which Perfect Power is tipped to win the horse racing betting. The historic Cambridgeshire Heritage Handicap also features on day three, marking the first leg of the Autumn Double.
2 October: Sun Chariot Day
Group 1 racing returns to Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on 2 October for Sun Chariot Day. The thrilling seven-race card features a couple of Novice Stakes and a few Fillies’ Handicaps, as well as the £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes. However, the feature race is the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes, a thrilling British Champions Series contest that is open to horses three years and over. Raced over a mile, Ryan Moore is the most successful jockey in the race’s history, with three wins in 2014, 2016 and 2017. There’s no doubt that the Irish rider will be looking for a record-extending fourth victory this year as he climbs into the saddle of one of Aidan O’Brien’s top-class horses.
8-9 October: Future Champions Festival
The highlight of the entire Gold Season, the Future Champions Festival presents fans of flat racing with the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of the best up-and-coming two-year-olds ahead of next season. Day one, Future Champions Festival Friday is littered with Group racing, including the Group 2 Challenge Stakes. But the highlight of the day is the Fillies’ Mile, which Frankie Dettori will be hoping to win a record-extending seventh time. Day two, Future Champions Day, is topped by the most prestigious race for juveniles, the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes. Several horses, including 11-time Group 1 winner Frankel and the more recent St Mark’s Basilica, have gone on to have wonderful careers after winning this race.