Newmarket’s QIPCO Guineas Festival will be extended to three days next year.
The Jockey Club has announced an extra day’s racing on Friday April 29, preceding the long-established weekend which features the 2000 and 1000 Guineas.
The first two Classics of the season will retain their current Saturday and Sunday positions on the calendar, with a detailed race programme to be published for the new opening day.
The famous meeting also expanded to three days last year, as part of the rescheduling caused by restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic – when it was run following racing’s return from lockdown, in June.
Newmarket Racecourses’ general manager Sophie Able said: “We’re delighted to be enhancing one of British racing’s most prestigious Flat racing fixtures, and a meeting which has shown sustained growth in the last decade.
“An additional day means more flexibility to optimise the meeting’s race programme both for participants and those who follow and bet on racing, as well as the chance to use the existing infrastructure to create another great day out for our customers.
“There are wider benefits too in terms of the shape of Newmarket’s early-season fixture list, more recovery time for the course itself and an easier operational switch onto the July Course.
“We’re excited about the opportunities for further growth this change will bring, and the benefits racing will see through subsequent reinvestment, and we hope everyone looks forward to a three-day QIPCO Guineas Festival next year as much as we will.”
Rod Street, chief executive of the British Champions Series, added: “The Qipco Guineas Festival is one of the highlights of the British sporting calendar, and we welcome the fact that racegoers will be able to enjoy a third day of brilliant racing from the Rowley Mile.
“While the circumstances in 2020 were very different, we have seen the interest that a three-day Festival is able to generate and very much view this as a chance to engage more people in one of racing’s most important events.”