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Newmarket To Stage Four £1M Race Meetings In 2003

The July Meeting, Cambridgeshire Meeting and Champions' Day will for the first time join the Sagitta Guineas Festival as million pound race meetings at Newmarket in 2003. These four top class meetings have the lion's share of a record £6,693,500 total prize money for the season at the home of racing, up by £846,000 or 14.5 per cent on last year.

Prize money at the July Meeting (Tuesday 8 to Thursday 10 July) has increased by £184,750 or 22% this year - in the last two years it has risen by 50% - and now stands at exactly £1m. Europe's premier sprint race, the Darley July Cup (G.1), enjoys the biggest increase, up £30,000 to £250,000.

The meeting has been boosted by the upgrading of the £70,000 TNT July Stakes from Group 3 to Group 2 status and the £40,000 Weatherbys Superlative Stakes from Listed to Group 3 status. As a result, the July Meeting now boasts one Group 1 race, four Group 2s and one Group 3.

At the Cambridgeshire Meeting (Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 October) prize money is up by just over £80,000 to exactly £1m despite the reduction in the meeting from 27 races over 4 days to 21 races over three days. This streamlining considerably enhances the quality of the three remaining days, which is further boosted by the upgrading of the £50,000 Shadwell Stud Joel Stakes from Listed to Group 3 status. There are £20,000 increases to each of the two Group 1 races, the £170,000 Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes and the £170,000 Cheveley Park Stakes. The day trimmed from the Cambridgeshire has been moved to the spring to create a new fixture on Friday 30 May.

Champions' Day (Saturday 18 October) passes the £1m mark for the first time without the help of supplementary entries. It rises by £50,000 to £1,030,000. The quality is enhanced by the upgrading of the Darley Stakes from Listed to Group 3 status such that the day now boasts six Group Races - two Group 1s, two Group 2s and two Group 3s - and one of the season's most prestigious and competitive handicaps, the Tote Cesarewitch. Overall, it is unquestionably the highest-class racecard in the British racing calendar.

Prize money at the Sagitta Guineas Festival (Friday 2 to Sunday 4 May), which became the first Newmarket race meeting to pass the £1m mark last year, rises by £114,500 to £1,139,000. The biggest increases were to the two Classics, both races increasing by £20,000 to £320,000.

‘To have all four of our big race meetings reach the £1m prize money mark is a great milestone to pass,’ commented Michael Prosser, Newmarket's Clerk of the Course. Prize money has risen this year on the vast majority of our 36 racedays and whilst a fair proportion of the increases are in line with the new minimum values, we have raised the value of many races above these levels.

‘Newmarket is synonymous with top class racing and it is our overriding aim to provide prize money levels at the home of racing commensurate with our status.’


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