Find out about the home of racing

Newmarket is truly special. It is a town with a rich, royal history where the thoroughbred racehorse is king. It is the town where horse racing, the "sport of kings", was born some three and a half centuries ago and from where it was exported around the world.

King Charles II returned to Newmarket 25 years after his last visit following Restoration to the Throne and spearheaded the development of the town, Racecourses and industry into what is affectionately known as the global headquarters of racing today; the Home of Horseracing.  Still run today, the Town Plate, a race which by law, passed by King Charles II, must be run “for ever”, is still staged on the same three-and-three-quarter mile course on which it was inaugurated on in 2016 (according to official records) three and a half centuries ago and is the one and only time each year that the ‘Round Course’ is used each year. 

Alongside the exhilarating excitement of world class Flat racing, pulsating music nights, great value family days, award-winning restaurants and exceptional conference & events facilities, Newmarket Racecourses will also be celebrating 350 years of extraordinary royal patronage and defining historic moments through our special commemorative events. 

See the full History of the "Home of Racing" and Newmarket Town

Newmarket Racecourses are very proud to be a part of this fascinating history and heritage and in honour of this fantastic birthday, there are a number of commemorative events and activities taking place throughout the year at the Home of Horseracing; both on and off the Racecourses.

350 Years Of Making History - Key Events:

  • 1666: King Charles II returned to Newmarket
  • 1671: King Charles II is known to have competed in a race at Newmarket
  • 1720: Result of the Newmarket Town Plate recorded in the Newmarket Match Book for the first time 
  • 1809: 2000 Guineas is inaugurated
  • 1814: 1000 Guineas is run for the first time
  • 1914: World War I - Official Royal Flying Corps in Newmarket
  • 1915: Newmarket Continued Racing during World War I
  • 1939: Rowley Mile became an official RAF Bomber Command Airbase
  • 1949: Photo Finish was used for the first time at Newmarket
  • 1974: Newmarket Racecourses became part of The Jockey Club
  • 1974: Rookery Shopping Centre opened in Newmarket town
  • 1987: Newmarket Nights established
  • 2009: 200th running of the 2000 Guineas
  • 2015: Kylie Minogue play at Newmarket Nights
  • 2016: Newmarket Racecourses celebrate their 350th birthday with Newmarket Town
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