The bet365 Craven Meeting at Newmarket’s historic Rowley Mile in April, heralds the start of the Flat racing season and is seen by many as a key fixture for those with aspirations to run in the first two Classic races of the year, the QIPCO 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas.
Kicking off on Tuesday 18th April, one the the day’s highlights is the Listed bet365 Feilden Stakes, often regarded by local trainers as an opportunity to get an early run into some of their better quality 3 year-olds, that may have Classic potential.
The feature races on day two, 19th April, are The Earl of Sefton Stakes and The European Free Handicap. The bet365 Earl of Sefton Stakes, is a one mile, one furlong Group 3 race, for thoroughbreds aged 4 years-old and over. The bet365 European Free Handicap is a Listed race for 3 year-old horses and is another potential European Classic trial. The handicap is based on the European Thoroughbred Rankings; an assessment of the previous season’s 2 year-olds.
Day 3 on 20th April, features the bet365 Craven Stakes. Run over one mile, this Group 3 contest is for three-year-old colts and geldings and is considered one of the key QIPCO 2,000 Guineas trials due to it being run over the same course and distance as the first Classic race of the year. In recent years, the Craven Stakes has been won by many emerging Flat racing stars including Toormore and Toronado.