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Looking Back at the Newmarket July Festival 2021

In 2021 the three-day Newmarket July Festival took place between Thursday 8th July and Saturday 10th July. On the first day the Ladies were treated to Ladies Day, with the featured event being the Princess of Wales’s Stakes within a seven-race card. Day two was Festival Friday and another seven-race card had the main event as the Group One Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes. The headline race of the festival took place on Saturday in another seven-race card where the winner of the Darley July Cup was often crowned the best sprinter in Europe.

Situated in Suffolk, Newmarket offers two separate racecourses known as the Rowley Mile Course and the Newmarket July Course. It is the Newmarket July course that hosts the Newmarket July Festival. Spectators packed the stands and visitor areas with crowds during the 2021 event reaching up to 20,000 per day. During the flat horse racing season, Newmarket hosts nine Group One races including the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas, that are raced on the Rowley Mile circuit.

Now we have reminded ourselves about the Newmarket July Festival let’s take a look at what happened in the featured races in 2021.

Ladies Day Newmarket Summer Festival 2021

With a seven-race card, the headline event of the day was the Princess of Wales’s Stakes.

Princess of Wales’s Stakes Newmarket July Festival 2021

The race is in honour of Alexandra of Denmark who became the Princess of Wales in 1863 and the first time it was run was in 1894 when Isinglass won. The race has a Group Two status and is run over one mile and four furlongs (2,414 metres). Horses aged three years and above are able to run the race with the purse in 2021 being £115,000 and the winner received £65,000.

No horse has won the race three times but five horses have managed to win on two occasions. The first was Lance Chest in 1912 and 1913 and this achievement was matched by Primera in 1959 and 1960, Lomond in 1965 and 1966, Millenary in 2002 and 2003 with the most recent being Big Orange in 2015 and 2016.

The recent passing of Lestor Piggott was a sad day for the sporting world and he will be well remembered at Newmarket. He jockeyed seven different horses to victory in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes including Primera making eight wins altogether. His first success was on Zucchero in 1952 and his last on Head for Heights in 1984. The most successful jockey in the last 20 starts with four wins has been Ryan Moore between 2007 when he rode Papal Bull and in 2012, he rode Fiorente to victory.

The most successful trainer of the Princess of Wales’s Stakes is Sir Michael Stoute having won on nine occasions. His first was with Shardari in 1986 and his most recent came in 2012 with Fiorente. In the last 20 starts both Sir Michael Stoute and Mark Johnston have trained five winners apiece.

Five runners were at the gates to take on the Princess of Wales’s Stakes in 2021. Pre-race betting had Al Aasy, jockeyed by William Haggas and trained by Jim Crowley as the odds-on favourite. It was with two furlongs to go that Highest Ground, trained by Sir Michael Stoute started to drop away from the lead. On the rising finish at Newmarket, Al Aasy had moved up to challenge the lead while Sir Ron Priestley was also challenging on the rails. The two horses battled to the line with Sir Ron Priestly pipping Al Aasy by a neck. Sir Ron Priestley was ridden by Franny Norton and trained by Mark Johnston making him the most successful trainer in the past ten years of this race.

Festival Friday Newmarket July Festival 2021

Another seven-race card was hotly anticipated by the Newmarket racegoers with the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes being the one to watch.

Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes Newmarket July Festival 2021

On Friday 9th July 2021 it was Festival Day at Newmarket and the only Group One race to be ran was the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes. A race run for three-year-olds and above the race is ran over one-mile (1,609 metres). In 2021 the total purse was £215,000 with the winner receiving approximately £122,000.

Alice was the first horse to win the race in 1911 and since the inaugural race only two horses have won on two occasions. It took until 1987 when Sonic Lady raced home for her second successive win. Soviet Song became the second horse to match the achievement with wins in 2004 and 2005.

Lester Piggott seemed to love Newmarket July Festival. Over his fabulous career as a jockey, he rode to victory in the Falmouth Stakes seven times. During the last 10 years the leading jockey is Ryan Moore with three wins.

The leading trainers of the Falmouth stakes won on six occasions. Alec Taylor, Jr made all of his wins during the period of 1914 to 1924. Sir Michael Stoute also has six wins under his belt including two with Sonic Lady and the last being in 2019 with Veracious. Sir Michael Stoute, John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have each trained two winners in the past 10 years.

American born politician Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor is the leading owner of the Falmouth Stakes with four wins and one in each decade between 1910 and 1940. During the past 10 starts, Cheveley Park Stud and Smith/Tabor/Magnier have won on two occasions.

A total of thirteen horses started the 2021 Falmouth Stakes with Alcohol Free as the 7/2 pre-race favourite. The race endured a nail-biting finish when one furlong out when Mother Earth, Alcohol Free were at the front with the pack trying to chase them down and out of the pack, Snow Lantern finished strongly to take the race at the finishing post by half a length.

Darley July Cup Day Newmarket July Festival 2021

Once again, a seven-race card with the headline event of the Newmarket July Festival taking place, The Darley Cup. The winner of the Darley Cup in 2021 received approximately £290,000 from a total purse of £510,000. The race is a Grade One sprint race open to three-year-olds and above and is run over a distance of six furlongs (1,207m).

The first race was won by Springfield in 1876 who won again the following year. The only horse that has won the July Cup three times is Sunridge between 1902 and 1904. Lester Piggott seemed to love Newmarket and he won the July Cup ten times. His first win came with Vigo in 1957 and the last in 1992 mounting Mr Brooks in 1992. During the past ten years three jockeys have won the race twice, those being Paul Hanagan, Adam Kirby and Ryan Moore.

Three trainers have on the July Cup on five occasions. These were Charles Morton between 1903 and 1914. Vincent O’Brien and Aidan O’Brien are the other two trainers to achieve five wins. Aidan O’Brien and Clive Cox have both been winning trainers twice over the last 10 years.

It was Saturday 10th July and a total of 19 horses were put under starters for the Darley July Cup with Dragon Symbol the 7/2 pre-race favourite. Defending champion Oxted was also running and the together with Dragon Symbol they were looking strong into the final furlong. Starman had quite a bit to do but came racing through to beat the favourite Dragon Symbol by a length and a quarter. Oxted finished third with 14/1 shot Art Power finishing fourth.


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