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Newmarket (July Course)

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    Planning a jaunt to the July Course this year and wanted a few opinions from those who have trodden that very path before me.

    My companions are casual racegoers and therefore the racing, for them at least, is not of the utmost importance.

    At this stage the July Meeting (Festival/Celebration/Carnival) is the likeliest fixture I’ll attend, unless anyone suggests a better time to go.

    Not many hotels in the immediate area from what I’ve seen and many already booked so what areas are convenient and are furnished with centres of drinking and eating excellence?

    Ideally would like to take in any other sights (Museum, National Stud, stable visit??) if possible.

    Many thanks in advance!

    p.s. Where would you rate the course next to the Rowley Mile and indeed other top tracks?

    (Edited by ToneLoc at 7:06 pm on Feb. 5, 2007)

    • Total Posts 3420

    July meeting ahs become ever more crowded in recent years. Avoid the "ladies day". Its murder…

    But its a fine meeting overall and the course is one of my favourites. Rowley mile is grander and has better facilites maybe but July has a traditional feel

    Make sure you stand between paddock and course when they gallop out too…a great sight

    The town is nothing special. though :(

    • Total Posts 3087

    <br>Don’t rush in, at least not before checking out the state of the rebuilding work currently in progress. The stands are unaffected, but all the bars and facilities behind the stands are being changed.

    In theory this will all be completed before the first meeting in 2007, but …..

    Ladies Day at the July meeting this year has moved from Wednesday to Thursday, so Wednesday would be the best day to go for comfort.

    Personally I’d opt for one of the Saturdays in August after the Premiership is back in action!


    • Total Posts 5111

    I’ve stayed here twice and all was well: … smokehouse

    Tel 01638 713223

    The ‘Newmarket Racing Break’ package is only available for saturday meetings i.e friday arrival but is enjoyable if you don’t mind getting up early for the gallops/stable tour. Our stable tour was of Warren Place (H Cecil).

    The museum is well worth a visit but the town itself pretty workaday as Clivex mentions.

    • Total Posts 300

    After living 5miles from Newmarket my whole life (apart from three years at college) i wouldnt be rushing to come here. The town is dreadful to say the least. It does pick up during the summer when racing is on, but still isn’t brilliant.

    I try and make July Cup day each year, but its getting busier and busier.

    The work should be completed, they have been working fairly quickly on it. IMO the July course is much better than the Rowley Mile but both come very far down on the list of tracks i have been to. There is no value for money. Be prepared to pay through the roof for what you get.

    Unless you are an annual member there are not many places you can go and with the building going on, you can be sure the Tatts enclosure will become smaller yet again.

    There is a nice guest house near the july course called the July Lodge, will try and get details. I’m not really sure where else there is to stay The White Hart pub has rooms i think in the high street.

    As far as food goes, i recommend the White Horse in Exning (only about 2miles out of town) for very good home made food. Many of the village pubs out of the town do great food. In the town there is the usual pizza express etc, but nothing that special.

    Plenty of pubs in town, the White Hart probably being the busiest. The nightclub is awful unless you are firmly plastered before entering or you can always visit the new Gentlemans Club named Heaven……. i havent been yet but ive been told its very expensive.

    I will be willing to help if you have any other questions.

    • Total Posts 2208

    I’d agree with Stormont, I was pretty disappointed with the July course. Despite being a bit soulless the rowley mile is better. The facilities on the july are limited and to get into the members is pretty steep and you won’t get in with jeans on (as i discovered). The stands are also pretty rickety.

    You’d be better off going to York later in the summer.

    • Total Posts 300

    Quote: from Aragorn on 9:44 pm on Feb. 5, 2007[br]I’d agree with Stormont, I was pretty disappointed with the July course. Despite being a bit soulless the rowley mile is better. The facilities on the july are limited and to get into the members is pretty steep and you won’t get in with jeans on (as i discovered). The stands are also pretty rickety.

    You’d be better off going to York later in the summer.

    I prefer the July to the Rowley Mile or at least i did, i will have to see what changes they have made in the summer. I don’t like either course. Lisa Hancock has ruined them both IMO.

    Agreed, much better of going to York, that would be my FAV group1 track by far.

    • Total Posts 101

    Thanks for the information everyone, not sure if I’m going to go now!! Positivity reigns! :biggrin:

    Interesting points:

    The lack of excitement in the town is a problem! I’ve been to the Rowley Mile (2005 1000 Guineas) but didn’t spend any time time in the town as we stayed in Cambridge. Thought the facilities in the Millennium Stand were as good as anywhere I’ve visited (excluding York), does the July Course have such a structure?

    I was advised that the July Course was a must! Is the July Course patronised by a similar crowd to Chester? (i.e. socialites, racing takes a back seat) Crowds wouldn’t be too much of an issue, I prefer racecourses to be busy and have atmosphere as I’m not really a paddock watcher and will bet on the phone most of the time, does the course have a busy betting ring?

    Off topic slightly but the way UK courses restrict access for the average racegoer is shameful. The tracks here should take a leaf out of Longchamp’s  (or indeed Chantilly’s) book, free access to most of the course and even though they have restricted areas you don’t feel like you’re missing out at all.

    <br>Ideally I’m looking for a few days at a racecourse (not necessarily UK) to mix in racing with a few good nights out. The bigger courses I’ve not visited are Goodwood, redeveloped Ascot and anywhere in Scotland and would ideally like to go somewhere new.

    However, York is my favourite course so the Ebor is always an option.

    (I should have labelled this thread “Which Racecourse Should I Visitâ€ÂÂ

    • Total Posts 919

    I’d agree that Newmarket is over-priced (like most in the UK) and doesn’t offer good viewing for racegoers due to its configuration.

    • Total Posts 300

    The Jult course does not have such a grandstand, the course is quite ‘historic’ but i like it. Unfortunately the crowd at Newmarket race meetings seem to be more interested in the women and alcohol (or the bloody bands on after the friday night meetings) they couldnt care less about the horses. The sort of people that will pile into odds on shots because "they wouldnt be that price if they weren’t gonna win". which really annoys me.

    The town is a disgrace in all honesty. If i lived out of Newmarket id come for the races and then head straight home. People should see the town now, like a ghost town with 13 year olds trying to beat you up until their mum walks round the corner and says "its past your bedtime" :biggrin:

    It is different in the summer but there is very little to do.

    But the pubs in the nearby villages are nice though.

    Goodwood is beautiful and usually a good crowd, but its in the middle of no where really.

    Ive been told Hamilton on a friday night is good. Not great racing but a nice atmosphere. Ive only been once when i took a horse up there on a Tuesday meeting. I really liked the track.

    My father says Musselburgh is great, but i couldn’t say as i’ve never been myself.

    • Total Posts 349

    Just a word on the National Stud.  I’ve been twice, both times in April and was told that was the best time to go as all the foals are young (and cute, apparently).

    Not sure how much you get to see as the year progresses.  A decent tour of its type though.

    • Total Posts 1708

    Ascot is terrible due to high prices and the problems with veiwing the races.

    The Newmarket racing musuem (situated half way up the high street) is always good. The other comments about the two tracks are justified. Cod chips and peas was £12.50 in the restaurant 4 years ago. I hate to think what they charge now.

    Goodwood is a course everyone should visit at least once. The local town (Chichester) is quiet but plenty of night life in Portsmouth or Brighton around 30 miles away and no shortage of accomodation.

    Haydock is a decent track but spoilt by drunken crowds.

    Folkestone is a dump.

    Epsom is ok but not much in the town.

    Newbury is a good track to visit town nothing much wrong there. We stay at Fox and Hounds hotel thats ok and cheaper than the big hotel in the town.

    Deauville is well worth a visit.<br>

    • Total Posts 2065

    Quote: from ToneLoc on 10:24 pm on Feb. 5, 2007[br]<br>(I should have labelled this thread “Which Racecourse Should I Visitâ€ÂÂ

    • Total Posts 1041


    As somebody who has lived and worked in Newmarket since 1980 I’m going to take an opposite view to most on here as I love the place.

    Firstly in terms of places to stay I’ll list the town ones in price order:

    Bedford Lodge Hotel – Bury Road<br>Heath Court Hotel – Moulton Road<br>Rutland Arms Hotel – High Street<br>Garrads – Old Station Road<br>Cadogan Hotel – Fordham Road

    The Bedford Lodge has a spa and is sandwiched between Cumanis and Nosedas yard on the Bury Road – home to Godolphin, Stoute, Wragg, Gosden, Brittain, Wallace etc.

    The Heath Court is at the bottom of the gallops, right next door to Sir Mark Prescott’s yard.

    The Rutland Arms in an historic coaching inn – formerly King James 1’s palace and connected by underground passage to Nell Gwyn’s cottage.

    All the above are a stroll into town.

    Out of town there is the pricey Swynford Paddocks in Six Mile Bottom and the Rosery Hotel in Exning.   There are lots of good guest houses in Newmarket and environs and if you PM me I’ll give you their details.

    As regards eating there are a few places in Newmarket including Prezzo (the Italian by the clock tower), The Sangdao Thai restaurant (in the High Street) and a very good Chinese, The Fountain (next to Michael Bell’s yard on the High Street and popular with trainers).  However you may want to try the popular racing pubs in the nearby villages.  The most famous (in the Top Cees case) is the Old Plough at Ashley and others include the White Pheasant at Fordham or the Star at Lidgate.

    In the town there are dozens of pubs and all the foreign trainers that have visited here like Joe Janiak etc have made themselves at home.  Many trainers frequent The Yard pub which is opposite De Niros the main nightclub in town.

    Your choice of pub depends on your own style – some like the Waggon and Horses – spit and sawdust plus food or the younger lot like the White Hart which is the large pre-club pub.

    Opposite the White Hart is Heaven – the lap dancing club – and next to that is the Jockey Club with a statue of Hyperion outside it which is adjoining the National Horseracing Museum which is much bigger that it looks from the outside.

    The Museum also does tours which include stable visits etc and they have a nice tea room.

    The National Stud (adjoining the July Course) also does tours – ring them for details.

    The best time to be in Newmarket is from 7 till 9am when you can watch all the horses working.  A good place to stand is either at The Severals (opposite the BP garage in the Bury Road) where the horses warm up or half way up the Moulton Road where you can park up and watch horses working either up the Long Hill canter or up Warren Hill Polytrack and Visco Ride.

    The July course itself is undergoing a major refurbishment to improve the previously lacking facilities.  They are spending about 8-10 Million on it and when I went up there last week they appear to be on target to complete the building work by end of April in time to fit it out for the July Meeting.

    This should provide a much better range of bars, restaurants and toilet facilities than you’d previously encounter.  They have also provided a newly extended banked area at the end of Tattersalls so better viewing down towards Silver Ring.

    The July meeting is very popular – and crowded.  If going with a non racing group you could always try one of the Newmarket Nights (ie Friday nights with decent bands) which need to be booked up in advance as they can sell out.   You could also think about a Saturday meeting in Summer which, in comparison to Friday nights are quite sedate.  Like Alan says, though, they can get quite rowdy during the football hiatus.  Security is tight though and I’ve never had a problem.

    Two great places to stand at the July Course.  Firstly you can watch the horses going to post from area between the paddock and the track and secondly (uniquely I think) you can stand in the middle of the beautiful tree lined pre-parade ring.

    Anyway I recommend a visit to Newmarket – it is certainly a unique place for the horse lover.

    <br>(Edited by Adrian at 9:48 am on Feb. 6, 2007)<br>

    (Edited by Adrian at 11:45 am on Feb. 6, 2007)

    • Total Posts 3420

    I didnt think that the tatts at Newmarket is that expensive…either course. Champions day was less than £20 i recall. That meeting is well worth a visit

    I wouldnt be put off going at all. There is a genuine feeling (esp at the Rowley mile) that you are really in the middle of the racing world. The positives outweigh the negatives at both courses.

    Take in the paddocks at both places, even if its not your usual thing. More than most major courses you can feel very close to the whole racing world there.

    would agree that Goodwood is unmissable though

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