Newmarket Town Plate

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"The Round Course at Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, Preparing for the King's Plate" - Peter Tillemans (1684-1734)

The Newmarket Town Plate is a historic British horse race which has been run in the town of Newmarket, Suffolk since 1665[1] or 1666.[2] The race was instigated by King Charles II, who became the first and only reigning monarch to win a race in 1671.[1] He stated that it should be run 'forever'.

It is run over 3 mile 6 furlongs of the Newmarket Round Course, which runs “on the outside of the Ditch from Newmarket ... starting and ending at the weighing post, by Cambridge Gap, called Thomond’s Post.”[2] It is only used once a year for this race.

Reputedly, the Plate was the first race to be run with a specific set of Rules.[2] These included:

  • "Every rider that layeth hold on, or striketh any of the riders, shall win no plate or prize"
  • "Whosoever winneth the plate or prize shall give to the Clerk of the Course twenty shillings, to be distributed to the poor both sides of Newmarket, and twenty shillings to the Clerk of the Race for which he is to keep the course plain and free from cart roots"
  • "No man is admitted to ride for this prize that is either a serving man or groom"

The prizes for the contest include a box of Newmarket sausages.[3] The 2012 edition of the race was won by amateur jockey, Clare Twemlow, on a horse called Raifteiri.[4] In 2011, the Town Plate was won by Newmarket trainer and town councillor John Berry, riding his own horse Kadouchski.[5]


  1. ^ a b Barrett, Norman, ed. (1995). The Daily Telegraph Chronicle of Horse Racing. Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Publishing. p. 8. 
  2. ^ a b c "Newmarket Town Plate". Newmarket Racecourse. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Executive gears up for Newmarket Town Plate". Jockey Club. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Town Plate win a dream comeback for jockey Clare". Newmarket Journal. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Trainer Berry takes the Plate". Newmarket Journal. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2013.