Newmarket Report: Attendance Up, Stewards Stay Busy, Heat Takes Its Toll

During the first two days of the three-day July meet at England's Newmarket Racecourse, attendance was up 11.7% over the 2002 meet. Thursday's final card is highlighted by the £250,000 Darley July Cup (Eng-I) featuring Australian standout Choisir. In honor of Choisir's presence in the Darley July Cup, Newmarket is offering half-price admission to Thursday's races for all Australian passport holders.

The Newmarket stewards were busy Wednesday, taking disciplinary action against three riders. One of the most severe penalties -- four days -- was given to Richard Hills for crossing over to the rail too quickly after the start aboard Nasij in the Stan James Falmouth Stakes. Hills, who had received an eight-day suspension at Sandown last Friday, will serve the latest suspension from July 22-25.

Also receiving four days was Robert Havlin, for careless riding aboard Tiber in the Bonusprint Handicap.

A one-day penalty was assessed Eddie Ahern, for careless riding on Cape Fear in the TNT July Stakes (Eng-II).

The hot weather conditions for the Newmarket meet has affected humans and horses. Jockeys Pat Eddery and Frankie Dettori took off their mounts in the final two races Wednesday and each cancelled plans to ride the evening card at Windsor. Both cited dehydration for taking off the mounts.

Also suffering dehydration was Discreet Brief, who was doused with several buckets of cold water before being led out of the unsaddling enclosure after her runner-up effort in the Bahrain Trophy.