Big Race Winners at Newmarket in 2020
Across the Rowley Mile and July courses, there were 32 Group races held at Newmarket in 2020. A third of those were Group 1 contests, reinforcing the fact that this is the headquarters of British Flat thoroughbred horse racing.
Among the big races held here annually are the 1000 and 2000 Guineas for three-year-olds, then later in the season the Cheveley Park, Middle Park, Fillies’ Mile, and Dewhurst Stakes for Flat juveniles. In 2020, three horses managed to win two Group events.
As Newmarket horse racing results from the past season show, Nazeef is the only horse to have won two Group 1 events at the track this year, one apiece on the two courses. Trained by John Gosden for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Racing, the daughter of Invincible Spirit was highly progressive during the first half of the campaign.
Nazeef won in Listed company on reappearance and then took the step up into Group 2 company in her stride when following-up in the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot. The four-year-old completed her hat-trick in the Falmouth Stakes during the July Festival when coming with a typical late run.
While two runs over 10 furlongs at Glorious Goodwood and over in France at the highest level didn’t work out for Nazeef, when she dropped back to a mile she resumed winning ways. That came in the autumn in the Sun Chariot Stakes on the Rowley Mile, beating French raider Half Light.
Andrew Balding’s Qatar Racing-owned colt Kameko saved his best form for the Rowley Mile in 2020. After prevailing by a neck in the 2000 Guineas and ending the unbeaten run of 2019 champion juvenile Pinatubo, things didn’t pan out for him away from Newmarket.
The son of Kitten’s Joy was caught on the hop like so many in a strange running of the Epsom Derby, but was then an unlucky in-running third in the Sussex Stakes back down in trip at Glorious Goodwood. After also disappointing in the Juddmonte International during the York Ebor Festival, he returned to the Rowley Mile in the autumn.
Race terms were not in Kameko’s favour at all when down in grade for the Group 2 Joel Stakes, but he belied that. He bounced back with a three-quarters of a length victory over Regal Reality at Newmarket in September. The young colt then weakened out of contention in the Breeders’ Cup Mile across the Atlantic at Keeneland and has since been retired to stud by his owners.
Compared to trainers with regular Newmarket runners, the stable of Roger Teal is relatively modest. But that didn’t stop his stable star Oxted from tasting victory twice in Group company here during the season.
After scoring in the Abernant Stakes, it must have tempting to go to Royal Ascot for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Teal persuaded Oxted’s owners against it, and the four-year-old Mayson gelding was instead kept fresh for a crack at the July Cup.
Group 1 glory followed for young jockey Cieren Fallon. Oxted kept on strongly in the final half-a-furlong on the July course, beating Irish raider Sceptical and Commonwealth Cup hero Golden Horde on a red-letter day for connections up the Newmarket straight.