Newmarket's Guineas Festival to be expanded to three-day meeting from next year in exciting move

THE Guineas Festival will be expanded to three days from next year.

The Jockey Club have announced exciting plans to extend Newmarket's historic fixture, with the meeting now kicking off on Friday April 29.

The 2000 Guineas and 1000 Guineas will still be held in their traditional Saturday and Sunday slots.

But the extra day will allow for several new races to be added to the meeting, which is the first major festival of the Flat season.

Details around the extra day, including races and prize-money structure, have yet to be revealed.

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Newmarket manager Sophie Able said: “We’re delighted to be enhancing one of British racing’s most prestigious Flat racing fixtures and a meeting which has shown sustained growth in the last decade.

“An additional day means more flexibility to optimise the meeting’s race programme both for participants and those who follow and bet on racing, as well as the chance to use the existing infrastructure to create another great day out for our customers.

“There are wider benefits too in terms of the shape of Newmarket’s early season fixture list, more recovery time for the course itself and an easier operational switch onto the July Course.

“Most of all though, Newmarket at the beginning of May is a magical place to be, and this is another chance to see the home of horse racing at its very best.

“We’re excited about the opportunities for further growth this change will bring.

"And the benefits racing will see through subsequent reinvestment, and we hope everyone looks forward to a three-day QIPCO Guineas Festival next year as much as we will.”

Rod Street, CEO of British Champions Series, added: “The QIPCO Guineas Festival is one of the highlights of the British sporting calendar and we welcome the fact that racegoers will be able to enjoy a third day of brilliant racing from the Rowley Mile.

“Whilst the circumstances in 2020 were very different, we have seen the interest that a three day Festival is able to generate and very much view this as a chance to engage more people in one of racing’s most important events.”

There haven't been full-capacity crowds at Newmarket's Rowley Mile since autumn 2019 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year's 2000 and 1000 Guineas were won by Poetic Flare and Snowfall respectively.

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