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What's unique about the course at Newbury?
The round course at Newbury is a left-handed, galloping, oval track, roughly 15 furlongs in circumference, with a straight nearly 5 furlongs in length. The straight mile course features slight undulations throughout, but they don't detract from its galloping nature.The Jumps course features eleven fences or seven hurdles per circuit, with a run-in of over a furlong. The fences are stiff, but the track is wide with easy bends and is considered one of the fairest in the country. [/column][end_columns]
Notable Races and Events
The most famous race run at Newbury is the Hennessy Gold Cup, a handicap steeplechase run over 3 miles 2½ furlongs in late November or early December each year. The race was originally run at Cheltenham, but transferred to Newbury in 1960 and, today, represents the longest commercial sponsorship in British racing. Interestingly, the Hennessy Gold Cup has never, once, been abandoned. The late Fulke Walwyn is the most successful trainer in the history of the race with seven winners, including Mandarin in 1957. The Hennessy Gold Cup is a prestigious and valuable race in its own right, but is also a bona fide trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. In fact, the 2012 Hennessy Gold Cup winner, Bobs Worth, went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.Speaking of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Golden Miller, who won the Blue Riband event in five consecutive years between 1932 and 1936, made his debut over fences at Newbury in 1931. His debut was less auspicious than it might have been because, having won, he was subsequently disqualified for his jockey failing to draw the correct weight.On the Flat, Lester Piggott, who rode his first winner at Newbury as a 13-year-old in 1949, celebrated his 4,000th career win when Ardross won the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes on the Berkshire track by 4 lengths in 1982.Newbury is also home to one of the major 2-year-old races of the season, the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes, named after the 1971 Derby winner, who was trained by Ian Balding at nearby Kingsclere. The Mill Reef Stakes is run over 6 furlongs each September and horses that run well in the race often contest the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes or Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket the following month. The 2012 Mill Reef Stakes winner, Moohaajim, trained by Marco Botti, was beaten by just a head in the Middle Park Stakes and, at the time of writing, is a top-priced 20/1 for the 2013 2,000 Guineas.The highest rated horse in the history of Flat racing, Frankel, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, won the Greenham Stakes at Newbury on his 3-year-old debut in April 2011, en route to a scintillating 6-length win in the 2,000 Guineas later the same month. He returned to Newbury as a 4-year-old the next May, easily winning the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes by 5 lengths.
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
On the Flat at Newbury, Richard Hannon is far and away the most successful trainer over the last five seasons with 67 winners from 523 races. Hannon's stable jockey and son-in-law, Richard Hughes, has been similarly successful with 53 winners from 306 rides.Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum is the leading owner in the same period with 27 winners from 178 runners, just ahead of Godolphin with 24 winners from 196 runners.Over Jumps, Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls dominate with 58 winners from 274 runners and 50 winners from 229 runners respectively. A.P. McCoy is the leading National Hunt jockey with 40 winners from 156 rides and John Patrick “J.P.” McManus is the leading National Hunt owner with 16 winners from 101 runners.
Follow Newbury Racecourse on Social Networks
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