Future Champions Festival: Newmarket Racecourse stages the new £2 million+ Dubai Future Champions Festival on Friday and Saturday, 9th and 10th October.

The event features the highest class racing for two-year-old colts and fillies anywhere in the world, with the second day including the famous Betfred Cesarewitch – the only race run between two counties, Cambridgeshire into Suffolk – and the second Vision Varsity race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Here is a helpful what’s on guide to the two days of high-class horseracing and off-course entertainment on the Rowley Mile.

Friday, 9th October

Gates open at 11.35am for a first race time of 1.35pm.

The races: Accompanying the Group 1 Dubai Fillies’ Mile – which, at £500,000 in prize-money, is the most valuable race for two-year-old fillies in Europe – on a seven-race card are the Group 2 Dubai Challenge Stakes (£150,000), the Vision Old Rowley Cup Heritage Handicap (£140,000), the Group 3 Dubai Cornwallis Stakes (£80,000), the Group 3 Vision Oh So Sharp Stakes (£80,000), the Listed Dubai Pride Stakes (£50,000) and the Vision Maiden Fillies Stakes (£25,000).

It’s Autumn Ladies’ Day, sponsored by The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel, with £10,000 in prizes for the best-dressed ladies. The Best Dressed Ladies competition closes at 3pm, the top ten will line-up at 3.45pm, with the announcement of the winners at 4.20pm after the penultimate horse race.

Off-course entertainment comes from opera singer Sharon Elizabeth and a harpist. On the Hyperion Lawn, there is a bouncy castle, a fairground slide, a bungee run, the Heart FM Angels and ‘dress loud’ charity photo booth, plus a Beautiq pop-up beauty tent offering hair and make-up touch-ups.

The Autumn Ladies’ Day fashion marquee is in The Boulevard where official milliner Jane Taylor’s pop-up shop will feature the Dubai Future Champions Festival capsule collection.

The free Race for Excellence exhibition, showcasing the shared development story of Dubai and its racing heritage, take place between the Winners’ Enclosure and the Millennium Grandstand. It includes the ‘Godolphin Jockey Challenge’, allowing visitors of all ages to test their skills in a virtual horse race.

More than 160 Year 8 pupils from Newmarket Academy are taking part in the Dubai Future Champions Education Week and they will be at the racecourse on Friday. The five-day programme has been engaging students with the unique heritage of the local area in which they live, raising their employment aspirations and introducing them to employment opportunities within the racing industry. This initiative has been made possible by the generous support of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Entertainment at the end of the horseracing – the last race is at 4.45pm – comes from Swagger in the Aspall Après Racing Marquee until 7pm.

Saturday, 10th October

Gates open at 12 noon ahead of the first race for professional jockeys at 2pm.

The races: The famous £250,000 Betfred Cesarewitch, the second part of the ‘Autumn Double’, inaugurated in 1839, is run at 3.50pm. Up to 34 horses will contest this Flat ‘marathon’ over two and a quarter miles.

Accompanying the Cesarewitch on an eight-race card is the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes which, at £500,000 in prize-money, is the joint most valuable race for two-year-olds in Europe, the Group 3 Darley Stakes (£80,000), the Group 3 Vision Autumn Stakes (£80,000), the Dubai European Breeders’ Fund Fillies’ Nursery Handicap Stakes (£60,000), the Listed Dubai Zetland Stakes (£50,000) and the Listed Vision EBF Stallions Boadicea Fillies’ Stakes (£50,000).

At 1pm, a Retraining of Racehorses Parade will take place in the parade ring, including among many other horses the last two winners of the Dubai World Cup, African Story and Prince Bishop, Ascot Gold Cup winner Papineau and Her Majesty The Queen’s Quadrille who is now excelling at dressage.

The second running of the Vision Varsity Race will take place ahead of the high quality race-card at 1.30pm. The historic sporting rivals Oxford and Cambridge Universities will battle it out again to see who can claim this year’s crown.

Off-course entertainment comes from opera singer Sharon Elizabeth, The Gershwin Gang and a jockey human statue. On the Hyperion Lawn, there is a bouncy castle, a fairground slide and a rodeo horse.

The free Race for Excellence exhibition, showcasing the shared development story of Dubai and its racing heritage, take place between the Winners’ Enclosure and the Millennium Grandstand. It includes the ‘Godolphin Jockey Challenge’, allowing visitors of all ages to test their skills in a virtual horse race.

Entertainment at the end of the horseracing – the last race is at 5.35pm – comes from DJ Chad Tyson in the Aspall Après Racing Marquee until 7.45pm. There will be a pyrotechnic air display at approximately 6.15pm to 6.30pm.

 

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