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The world's oldest surviving horse race, the Newmarket Town Plate, kicks off 2017 July Festival

Author: Marius West Published: 12th July 2017 10:39

 © Sheikh Fahad Al Thani won last year’s renewal aboard Almagest

The world's oldest surviving horse race, the Newmarket Town Plate, kicks off 2017 July Festival

The 2017 running of the world’s oldest surviving race, the Newmarket Town Plate, which kicks off the three-dayMoët & Chandon 2017 July Festival at the Adnams July Course on Thursday 13th July, looks to see a maximum allowed field of 15 runners take to the track.

For many years, the Newmarket Town Plate was seen as one of the most prestigious races in the land, now, riding in this race offers up a true piece of historical eccentricity for those who can take on the challenge.

The race, ridden only by true amateurs is run over a three and a quarter mile course. Run on part of the same track as the original race in which King Charles II rode in the 1600s, much of the course the modern-day riders take on is only used for this single race each year, but ends on the same home straight as all races at Newmarket’s Adnams July Course, where racegoers wait in vast numbers to cheer on race leaders.

Winners not only take away the chance to claim their own piece of history, but they gain a jockey’s prize of a Perpetual Challenge Plate, a photo frame, a voucher for Newmarket High Street clothing store, Golding and a box of Powters Celebrated Newmarket Sausages. Riders flock from across the UK, and even across the world to take part in this historic race. In previous years the race has been won by an accountant, a neurosurgeon and even a Sheikh. Sheikh Fahad Al Thani took home the winning title last year, and he’s back for 2017 to try and triumph for a second consecutive year.

Riders joining Sheikh Fahad Al Thani on this challenge include a Dentist from Wrexham, a Programme Manager and a Bookmaker, both from Cheshire, a Full-time mum from Scarborough and an Ambulance Driver from Manchester, to name a few.

A video about Newmarket Town Plate has been put together to celebrate this historic race, and includes interviews with some of this year’s riders - watch this here:

 

 

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