Your Exclusive Guide to the Newmarket Moet & Chandon July Festival

12-14 July

As English football fans begin to believe that football could be coming home as their team reaches the semi-finals of the World Cup, horse racing fans are also gearing up for a fantastic week of sport. The Newmarket July Festival, sponsored by Moet and Chandon, is a three-day extravaganza with all races taking place on the iconic July course.

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There are eight Group races and a Group 1 event on each of the three days. Although it is only a Class 2 race, the Bunbury Cup is one of the most celebrated events at the festival. In this guide, I analyse three races, the biggest event of each day, to determine if trends can help narrow down the list of potential winners.

We’ll also be comparing the latest betting odds across our top-rated racing bookmakers so you can get the best odds for your wagers. For each of these three major races, we’ll provide a basic overview of the race, discuss past betting trends, look for the value picks and compare the odds across several betting sites.

Day 1: The Princess of Wales’ Arquana Racing Club Stakes

12 July

This Group 2 race for 3yo+ is run over a distance of 1m 4f. It is named after Alexandra of Denmark who ultimately became the Princess of Wales in 1863. The first race was run the following year and was won by Isinglass. It was regarded as one of the UK’s most prestigious races and was a Group 3 race in 1971. It was upgraded to Group 2 in 1978 and has retained its status ever since.

Previous Winners

YearWinner Odds (SP)
2015Big Orange25/1
2016Big Orange8/1

 Betting Trends and Information

There are eight runners at the time of writing and in what promises to be an ultra-competitive affair, Mirage Dancer is the 5/2 favourite with Barsanti next at 7/2. All but one of the runners is available at single digit odds!

  • 12/21 winners were in the top 3 in the betting market.
  • 19/21 winners had previously run over 1m 4f or longer.
  • 16/21 winners had previously won a race over 1m 4f or longer.

At first glance there doesn’t seem to be enough information to narrow down the field. We can probably discount rank outsider Algometer at 25/1. The fact that Aiden O’Brien has yet to choose a jockey for Lucius Tiberius at 14/1 suggests that he doesn’t have much faith in his entry. Only one winner in the last two decades has been outside the top six in the betting so by race time, we may be able to eliminate one or two others.

Laraaib has not won over a distance of 1m 4f so there could be scope to further reduce the field depending on market movement over the next few days. Interestingly, 13/16 winners have been in stalls 1-5 which is bad news for Duretto, Laraaib, and Best Solution.

Ante Post Betting Odds

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Dee Ex Bee3/110/33/1
Mirage Dancer3/111/45/2
Raa Atoll6/115/215/2
Best Solution9/117/27/1
Lucius Tiberius10/112/112/1

Day 2: Falmouth Stakes

13 July

This is the second most important race at the Newmarket July Festival and this Group 1 event is open to 3yo+ fillies and mares only. It takes place over a distance of one mile and is named after the 6th Viscount of Falmouth, Evelyn Boscawen, a prominent horse racing figure in the 19th century.

The race was first run in 1911 and it was given Group 3 status in 1971. It was upgraded to Group level in 1987 before receiving the coveted Group 1 classification in 2004. It is important to note that 3yos carry 8-12 while 4yos carry nine pounds more at 9-7.

Previous Winners

YearWinner Odds (SP)
2013Elusive Kate3/1
2015Amazing Maria17/2
2016Alice Springs5/2
2017Roly Poly6/4

 Betting Trends and Information

Alpha Centauri is the clear 4/7 favourite in a seven-runner race with Threading and Clemmie available at 7/1. The rest of the field is at 10/1+.

  • 21/21 winners have come from stalls 1-4 or one of the three outside stalls.
  • 17/21 winners have finished in the top 6 in their previous race; 14/21 finished in the top 4. Four winners were having their first run.
  • 19/21 winners were aged 3 or 4.
  • 14/21 winners had an OR of 108+.
  • 17/21 winners last ran 18-84 days before the race.
  • 16/21 winners had at least one career win.

It is important to note that four winners in the last couple of decades were having their first run. As a consequence, we can eliminate horses without a previous win. Once we have taken all of the above criteria into account, we are left with five contenders including the odds-on favourite, Alpha Centauri. The favourite defeated Threading by six lengths at Ascot and it is hard to see that form being reversed. In fact, Alpha Centauri is ranked 11 OR points ahead of the field and it would be an exceptional shock if the white-hot favourite was defeated.

Ante Post Betting Odds

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Alpha Centauri4/64/64/6
Billesdon Brook10/110/110/1
Opal Tiara16/116/116/1
Could It Be Love16/114/114/1
Arabian Hope25/125/125/1
Altyn Orda25/122/125/1
Most Gifted40/133/125/1

Day 3: Darley July Cup Stakes

14 July

As well as being the highlight of the July Festival, this Group One race is one of the world’s most coveted titles. It is a fast and furious race over 6f and is available to all horses aged 3yo+. While 3yos carry 9-0, 4yos must carry 9-6. Fillies and mares receive a 3-pound allowance.

The July Cup was first run in 1876 and was won by Springfield who also won the following year’s race. It was a Group 2 race until 1978 when it was upgraded to its current status. It has been part of the Global Spring Challenge since 2008 and with a total prize fund of £500,000, the Darley July Cup Stakes is one of the world’s most lucrative horse races.

Previous Winners

YearWinner Odds (SP)
2013Lethal Force9/2
2014Slade Power7/4
2017Harry Angel9/2

 Betting Trends and Information

At the time of writing, there are 14 potential runners. Blue Point is 3/1 favourite, followed by U.S. Navy Flag at 11/2 and Eqtidaar at 6/1.

  • 18/21 winners finished in the top five in their previous race.
  • 17/21 winners were in the top five in the betting market.
  • 18/21 winners last ran 16-30 days before the race.
  • 14/21 winners had 1-2 season runs.

Since Compton Place shocked the world by winning as a 50/1 shot in 1997, there have been no winners at odds of greater than 22/1 and only 2/20 have won at odds of 16/1+. When we eliminate long shots, we are down to just eight likely winners. When we focus solely on horses that finished top 5 last time out, there are only five possible contenders.

While Dreamfield emerges as a possible winner at 9/1, there are a few question marks over big race experience. While he has won three of his four races (and finished second by a neck in his other one), Dreamfield’s wins have come at Class 2 level. Meanwhile, recent winners of the July Cup have usually won a Group 1 or 2 race before and the other four horses have all achieved that feat.

Recent winners typically run within 26 days of the race which discounts Brando and leaves us with Blue Point (3/1), Eqtidaar (6/1), and Sands of Mali (8/1). Indeed, Sands of Mali could be the value bet having only lost to Eqtidaar by half a length in their last meeting at Ascot.

Ante Post Betting Odds

 Racebets.comComeOnWilliam Hill
Blue Point3/13/13/1
US Navy Flag5/111/211/2
Sands Of Mali8/18/18/1
Redkirk Warrior9/110/110/1
Invincible Army20/118/120/1
Sioux Nation20/120/120/1
Sir Dancealot28/128/128/1
Fleet Review33/128/133/1
Spirit Of Valor50/150/150/1
Intelligence Cross80/180/1100/1