Newmarket July Festival 2023

The 2023 Newmarket July Festival is here and we have betting tips and odds on all three days of the meeting!

July Cup 2023 Preview

4.35 Newmarket – Azure Blue (NAP)

Azure Blue will bid to give the County Durham trainer Michael Dods a first victory in the prestigious six-furlong July Cup on Saturday.

Dods is no stranger to Group One success having sent out Mabs Cross to victory in the 2018 Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp and Mecca’s Angel to wins in both the 2015 and 2016 Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

After landing the Listed Chaloner Stakes, which was her third Rowley Mile victory, Azure Blue then went up another notch altogether with victory in the Group Two Duke Of York Stakes at York. 

She totally deserves to be in this line up and I make her our 888sport NAP of the day for those of you placing your horse race bets online with us.

Everything you need to know about the July Cup and the latest information ahead of the 2023 renewal.

What Is The July Cup?

The July Cup is one of the most coveted sprint races of the season, contested over six furlongs at Newmarket by some of the quickest horses in Europe.

In fact in 25 of the last 35 years the winner of the July Cup has been crowned top sprinter in Europe by the World Thoroughbred Rankings organisation.

The race is always a fascinating one as the leading three-year-olds take on their older rivals, with eight three-year-olds lifting the trophy since the turn of the millennium.

Understandably the July Cup is one of the most popular betting heats of the summer. 

July Cup History

Springfield, bred by Queen Victoria at Hampton Court Stud, won the inaugural running in 1876, and followed up a year later to become the first dual winner.

Fast forward to the 1970’s and the July Cup was dominated by the trainer/jockey partnership of Vincent O’Brien and Lester Piggott, arguably the greatest jockey of all-time.

They landed the prize four times during that decade, commencing with Thatch in 1973, Saritamer (1974), Solinus (1978) and Thatching (1979).

The 1980’s kick-started some halcyon days for the July Cup, with five winners – Marwell (1981), Sharpo (1982), Habibti (1983), Chief Singer (1984) and Never So Bold (1985) all rated as the best sprinter in Europe in that particular year.

In 2011 Hayley Turner made history when winning this race on Dream Ahead. In doing so she became the first female jockey to win a Group One outright on her own after Alex Greaves dead-heated in the Nunthorpe in 1987.

July Cup Race Date And Time 

The Pertemps Network July Cup 2023 will take place on Saturday 15 July (4.10 PM) at Newmarket Racecourse on the July Course.

It is the final day of the three day July Festival at Newmarket and is the pinnacle of the event. You'll find plenty of horse racing tips floating about ahead of this race, that's for sure...

July Cup Race Card

There are a total of seven races on the 2023 July Cup racecard, with the main race of the day taking place at 4.10pm. Here is the full schedule for the final day of the Newmarket July Festival:

  • 1.50 - Rossdales British Ebf Maiden Fillies' Stakes (GBB Race)

  • 2.25 - Bet365 Mile Handicap

  • 3.00 - Bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2)

  • 3.35 - Bet365 Bunbury Cup (Heritage Handicap)

  • 4.10 - July Cup Stakes (Group 1)

  • 4.45 - Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa Fillies' Handicap

  • 5.20 - Discover Newmarket Handicap

18 runners were in contention for the feature race after the initial entries: Art Power, Brad The Brief, Emaraaty Ana, Kinross, Mount Athos, Run To Freedom, Azure Blue, Royal Aclaim, Vadream, Alpha Zulu, Cold Case, Little Big Bear, Shaquille, The Antarctic, Zoology, Lezoo & Meditate.

The winner will receive £340,260.

July Cup Confirmation Stage:

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes winner Khaadem was supplemented for the race at the confirmation stage on July 10th 2023.

Trained by Charlie Hills, connections decided to pay the £36,000 supplementary fee to enter and he is likely to be one of the favourites for Saturday's race.

With Khaadem now set to run, 14 horses remain in contention to win the 2023 July Cup ahead of the 48-hour declaration stage.

As things stand, those still in the race are as follows: Art Power, Brad The Brief, Emaraaty Ana, Kinross, Run To Freedom, Azure Blue, Royal Aclaim, Vadream, Cold Case, Little Big Bear, Shaquille, Lezoo, Meditate and Khaadem.

What Happened In The 2022 July Cup?

Jockey Rob Hornby won his second Group One race in as many days when he partnered Andrew Balding's Alcohol Free to victory.

He had earlier obliged on 16-1 Prosperous Voyage in the Falmouth Stakes on the Friday of the July meeting.

Naval Crown (4-1) made most of the running but 14-1 Alcohol Free drew clear to win by a length-and-a-half. The 9-4 favourite Perfect Power finished a disappointing seventh.

Neither trainer nor owner was present on the July Course to witness the success, but Balding's wife Anna Lisa was on hand to accept the prizes.

July Cup 2023 Betting:

At the time of writing, the 2023 July Cup betting market looks like this:

  • Shaquille @ 9/4

  • Little Big Bear @ 3/1

  • Azure Blue @ 9/2

  • Kinross @ 13/2

  • Art Power @ 14/1

  • The Antarctic @ 16/1

  • Meditate @ 16/1

  • Royal Aclaim @ 20/1

  • Bar @ 20/1


Steven is a sports and horse racing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 30 renewals of the Grand National.