THE JULY STAKES is a Group 2 Flat race for two-year-old colts and geldings run over a distance of six furlongs during the Newmarket July meeting. All runners carry a weight of 8st 12lb, although the winners of a Group 1 or Group 2 race are required to carry a penalty of three pounds. The race often provides a pointer to the juvenile championships and, on occasion, the following year’s premier three-year-old events.
July Stakes History
The July Stakes was first run in 1786, making it the oldest surviving race for two-year-olds on the British racing calendar. It was run over a distance of five furlongs and 140 yards until 1960 and was open to both fillies and colts until 1977. From 1971 to 2002, the July Stakes was a Group 3 race. It was upgraded to Group 2 status in 2003.
Due to its relatively early date and distance of six furlongs, the July Stakes has been far more successful in pinpointing high-class sprinters of the future than potential Classic winners. The last winner of the race to go on to score in a British Classic was the 1954 2,000 Guineas winner Darius. The 1985 winner, subsequent July Cup winner Green Desert, was a prime example of a July Stakes winner who went on to become a top sprinter.
Newmarket, Suffolk, is regarded as the home of British horse racing and has two racecourses, known as the Rowley Mile and the July course. The first recorded race at Newmarket took place on March 18, 1622. In 1660 King Charles II began twice-yearly visits to Newmarket and his patronage ensured that horse racing in the town was formalised.
In 1665 the Town Plate became the first horse race to be run under written rules. The Jockey Club, which instituted the rules of horse racing, moved to Newmarket in 1750 and in the 1760s Newmarket Racecourse started to host fixed annual race meetings.
Newmarket stages the 1,000 Guineas and the 2,000 Guineas - two of the five British Classic horse races for three-year-old horses.
July Stakes Betting
Although the July Stakes in itself is a Group 2 Flat race which usually attract less attention amongst bettors than Group 1 races the fact that it is run as a part of the prestigious July Meeting has led to it becoming a fairly popular horse racing betting event. There are however less casual punters betting on the race than experienced bettors. None-the-less today UK bookmakers offer odds on a wide variety of betting markets for the race and a selection of different betting specials are more often than not provided as well.
July Stakes Facts
- During the early years of the July Stakes, horses sired by Eclipse or Highflyer - the leading stallions of the day - were required to carry an additional three pounds in weight.
- The 1900 race was a dead-heat between Doricles and Veles.
- The last Derby winner to win the July Stakes was Nimjulbus, who was successful in 1948.
- Among the successful fillies in the race’s history is Sceptre, the 1902 2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger winner. Abelia defeated the subsequent 2,000 Guineas winner Pall Mall when winning in 1957, while the last successful filly was Favorita in 1960.
- During the war years, the July Stakes did not take place in 1917, 1940, 1942 and 1943, and was run at Windsor in 1944.
July Stakes Videos
Strategic Prince winning the 2006 July Stakes
Tagula winning the 1995 July Stakes
July Stakes Further Resources
- July Stakes - Wikipedia
- July Stakes - Pedigree Query
- Online Betting Guide
- Cheltenham Festival