Course guide and key statistics for the July Festival

Timeform’s in-depth guide to Newmarket’s July Course, featuring all the key facts and figures for the 2022 July Festival.

Timeform’s Newmarket July course guide

The July Course is two miles and a furlong in extent with a right-handed bend at halfway, the first mile being part of the Cesarewitch course, the last the straight Bunbury mile. There are undulations for the first three-quarters of a mile of the straight, the course then runs downhill for a furlong before climbing to the line. As with the Rowley Mile course, ability to see out the trip thoroughly is essential.

Leading active jockeys at Newmarket (July)

Sorted by strike rate since 2017 (minimum 25 rides)

  • William Buick 23.00% (46-200)
  • James Doyle 21.65% (55-254)
  • Marco Ghiani 21.28% (10-47)
  • Robert Havlin 21.21% (21-99)
  • Dane O’Neill 18.90% (24-127)

Other points to consider

  • As well as boasting the best strike rates on the July Course, Godolphin jockeys James Doyle (55) and William Buick (46) also lead the way by number of wins there since 2017.
  • Doyle was the leading jockey at last year’s July Festival with four winners ahead of Tom Marquand and Oisin Murphy with three.
  • Of the most successful jockeys on the July Course, P. J. McDonald has been the most profitable to follow, with his 13 winners from 71 rides yielding a level-stakes profit of 15.75.

Leading active trainers at Newmarket (July)

Sorted by strike rate since 2017 (minimum 25 runners)

  • Saeed bin Suroor 28.75% (23-80)
  • Charlie Appleby 28.64% (59-206)
  • John (& Thady) Gosden 20.00% (47-235)
  • Owen Burrows 20.00% (6-30)
  • Ed Walker 19.15% (9-47)

Other points to consider

  • While Godolphin’s two trainers have very similar strike rates, backing all of Saeed bin Suroor’s runners would have returned a 17.88 level stakes profit compared with a loss of 8.89 if backing all of Charlie Appleby’s runners.
  • Charlie Appleby was the leading trainer at last year’s July Festival with five winners ahead of Richard Hannon with four and William Haggas with three.

Falmouth Stakes trends

Since 2000 unless specified otherwise

  • Jockey – Ryan Moore is the only active jockey to have won the Falmouth Stakes more than once, winning it three times since 2014
  • Trainer – Sir Michael Stoute has won the Falmouth Stakes six times, twice this century, most recently with Veracious in 2019

July Cup trends

Since 2000 unless specified otherwise

  • Jockey – John Egan, Paul Hanagan, Adam Kirby and Ryan Moore have all won the July Cup twice, Moore’s wins being the most recent in 2018 and 2019
  • Trainer – Aidan O’Brien is the joint most successful trainer in the history of the July Cup with five wins since 1999, mostly recently with Ten Sovereigns in 2019

Best performances at the July Festival

Sorted by Timeform performance ratings in the last five years

  • Alpha Centauri (126) – 2018 Falmouth Stakes (WON)
  • Ten Sovereigns (126) – 2019 July Cup (WON)
  • Starman (125) – 2021 July Cup (WON)
  • U S Navy Flag (124) – 2018 July Cup (WON)
  • Motakhayyel (123) – 2021 Bunbury Cup (WON)
  • Sir Ron Priestley (123) – 2021 Princess of Wales’s Stakes (WON)

Three winners of the July Cup feature among those who have put up the best performances at the July Festival in recent seasons. Pick of those is 2019 winner Ten Sovereigns who won a renewal notable for the fact that the five three-year-olds in the field filled the first five places. Ten Sovereigns had two and three quarter lengths to spare over Advertise, the colt who had beaten him into fourth in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

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Alpha Centauri was one of the best winners of the Falmouth Stakes since it became a Group 1 in 2004. Sent off at 4/9, she made all the running to win by four and a half lengths, following up earlier Group 1 wins in the Irish 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes before going on to complete a four-timer in the Prix Jacques Le Marois.

Motakhayyel put up a very smart performance to win the July Festival’s big handicap, the Bunbury Cup, for the second year running in 2021. Under top weight of 9-10, he ran out an easy winner by three and a half lengths from Fundamental, conceding more than a stone to the runner-up.

The previous season’s St Leger runner-up Sir Ron Priestley put up a career-best effort to win the Princess of Wales’s Stakes in 2021. He made all the running and showed a willing attitude to hold off odds-on favourite Al Aasy who’d been beaten the same margin in the Coronation Cup on his previous start.

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