A Spectacular Year for Newmarket

4th January 2019

2018 has been a spectacular year for Newmarket. We have seen a first Derby win for Godolphin with Masar, Breeders Cup successes and the glories of John Gosden’s team; Roaring Lion, Stradivarius, Too Darn Hot, Cracksman and jewel in the crown, Enable.  The latter with the mercurial Frankie Dettori in the saddle won her 2nd Arc, after an injury hit season when the duo saw off the fast finishing Sea of Class trained by another HQ trainer William Haggas.

Thanks to racing’s top cartoonist Darren Bird, aka Birdie, we look back on some of those memorable winners and more, through six of his eye catching sketches.



The John Gosden trained filly won the Prix De L’arc De Triomphe for second time in October. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, she then became the first Arc victor to win the Breeders Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in early November.

Sea of Class


The gallant runner up in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe where ridden by James Doyle she narrowly failed to catch Enable and lost by a neck .   She had earlier won two Group 1’s, the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks.

Poet's Word


A winner of three successive middle distance group races culminating in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot which provided trainer Sir Michael Stoute with his record sixth win of the prestigious race.

Expert Eye


After winning the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Sir Michael Stoute trained three year old ended his season with a dramatic win in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs in November.

The Tin Man


The popular James Fanshawe trained sprinter who won the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock in September. The horse has now won a Group 1 race in each of the last three seasons.

Roy Rocket


John Berry’s Brighton favourite, he even has his own twitter @Roy_Rocket  has won 9 races, all of his victories, at the Sussex course. The flamboyant snowy white horse was recently recognised with the ROA Award for Special Achievement.

Who will be the Newmarket stars of 2019?  Will Enable win an unprecedented third Arc or will Sea of Class get her revenge? Can Too Darn Hot grab 2000 Guineas glory or will Godolphin’s Quorto triumph at Newmarket?

These are just two potential storylines for next year, but whatever happens Birdie will be ready to bring all the stars to life in his own inimitable way.

Blog by Stephen Wallis, Visitor Services.


We would like to thank Darren Bird for allowing us to use his images.

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