What to Expect
The runners and riders for the Newmarket July Festival won’t be announced for some time. However, the full schedule of entry is already available and there is plenty to look forward to.
The Festival begins with begins on Thursday 7 July with Ladies Day and the following races:
- 20pm - The EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes - 6F
- 50pm - The Bahrain Trophy - 13F
- 25pm - The July Stakes - 6F
- 00pm - The bet365 Handicap Stakes (Heritage Handicap) - 6F
- 35pm - The Princess of Wales's Stakes - 12F
- 10pm - The Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes - 8F
- 40pm - The Handicap Stakes - 8F
The action continues on Saturday 8 July with Festival Friday and the following races:
- 1:15pm - The Weatherby's British EBF Maiden Stakes - 7f
- 1:50pm - The bet365 Handicap Stakes - 10f
- 2:25pm - The bet365 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes - 6f
- 3:00pm - The bet365 Trophy - 14f
- 3:35pm - The Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes - 8f
- 4:10pm - The bet365 Handicap Stakes - 7f
- 4:45pm - The Handicap Stakes - 5f
Rounding off the Festival is the Darley July Cup day on Saturday 9 July with the following:
- 1:30pm - The Rossdales British EBF Fillies' Maiden Stakes -7f
- 2:05pm - The Bedford Lodge Fillies' Handicap Stakes -7f
- 2:40pm - The bet365 Mile Handicap - 8f
- 3:15pm - The bet365 Superlative Stakes - 7f
- 3:50pm - The bet365 Bunbury Cup (Heritage Handicap) - 7f
- 4:25pm - The Darley July Cup - 6f
- 5:00pm - The Handicap Stakes - 12f
As you can see, across the three days of the Festival there are no less than 21 races. This presents an almost incalculable number of betting possibilities.
The experienced bettors among you will know that there are two main categories of horse racing bets that can be placed, Straight Bets and Exotic Bets. On balance, it is fair to say that the straight bets are simpler. However, the truth is that all types of bets are very easy to understand and the difficulty comes in picking a winner rather than understanding the bets.
Now we shall take you through the various types of bets that you can place. The first three deal with a specific horse and where it will finish.
- Win – A bet in a specific horse to win. If it wins, then you win your bet.
- Place – A bet on a specific horse to finish in first or second place.
- Show – A bet on a horse to come in first, second or third.
It is not difficult to understand that a Win bet is far harder to predict than a Show bet. As such, you will be offered far longer odds on a Win bet.
There are a couple of bets that combine the above three in various different ways:
- Across the Board – This is actually a combination of all three of the above bets. Known as a “combo straight wager”, you are betting on a horse to win, place and show. This makes it quite an expensive bet to place. For example, a €5 across the board bet actually costs €15, as you are placing three individual bets. If your chosen horse wins, you win all three bets. If the horse finishes second then you win the place and show bets, and if the horse comes third, then you win the show bet.
- Win/Place – This combines the Win and Place bets. As you will have guessed, if your chosen horse wins then you win both bets and if it finishes second, then you win the place bet.
- Place/Show – This combines the Place and Show bets. If your horse finishes second then you win the Place and Show bet while if it finishes third then you only win the Show bet.
You are not restricted to betting on a single horse. If you are feeling adventurous you can bet on which horses will finish first, second, third and even fourth. Some of these bets require you to specify the order while others cover all combinations.
- Exacta – This bet requires you to predict which horse will finish first and which horse will finish second.
- Quinella – This is the same as an Exacta bet but the order is not important. Therefore, as long as your chosen horses come in first and second, you win.
- Trifecta – This is a bet on which horses will finish first, second and third in the correct order.
- Superfecta – This is a bet on which horses will finish first, second, third and fourth in the correct order.
As you can imagine, the more positions you are trying to predict, the harder the bet is to win, and therefore, the longer the odds. However, using something called ‘boxing’ it is possible to build some risk management into the bets. If you were to box an Exacta bet, it means that it doesn’t matter which order the horses finish in. However, in exchange for this you will need to double your bet. It is also possible to box a Trifecta bet, but this is very expensive as there are so many different possible outcomes. The same is true of Superfecta bets, they may be boxed, but it is not cheap.
You may also find bets that relate to multiple races rather than multiple horses within a single race. For instance, on Ladies Day you could place a bet on a horse to win the opening race, The EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, and the next race, The Bahrain Trophy. If you combine the two bets, then it will be cheaper than placing two individual bets and you will be offered longer odds as it is harder to predict.
As you can see, using all of these different types of bets, each race presents numerous possibilities and with so much racing action taking place over the course of the Newmarket July Festival, there is no shortage of opportunity to try them all.
Planning Your Bets
The runners and jockeys will not be announced until much nearer the July Festival. In the meantime, you can start practicing how you will research them. There are a few key areas to consider, the horses themselves, the trainers, the jockeys, and the going. Furthermore, you need to consider how they all interact, as each influences the others.
This means that when looking at the horses, you don’t only need to look at their recent forms. You will also want to consider how they have performed in similar conditions and how they have performed on the track before. You can then see if the same jockey has ridden the horse before and under what circumstances.
The role of the trainer is huge. You should look in to the records of the trainers in each race. You may soon discover that some have particularly impressive records.
The more of this type of research you are able to do, the better your chances will be of backing a winner.