The 2013 Newmarket July Meeting got off to the races on Thursday in Suffolk, England.
Several races thrilled the spectators on Thursday, with some big, up-and-coming names galloping to victory among the festivities.
Here's a breakdown of the races on Thursday.
Universal Wins the 1400
Universal, a 3:1 favorite coming in, captured the 1400 ahead of Ahzeemah on Thursday. Jockey Joe Fanning set a comfortable gallop early before ultimately surging ahead of the field. The place of each horse was pretty consistent throughout the race, with Dandadana being the exception, who slowed down at the end. Universal made nine starts in 2013 before the race. The horse had won three of the last four races.
Maputo Captures the 1515
Maputo set a new course record in the 1515 on Thursday, sprinting to the finish line ahead of contenders Red Avenger and Tarikhi. There was a little unrest early for the challengers, but Maputo was so brilliant on Thursday that it probably wouldn't have mattered if they made their best effort.
Qawaasem Takes the 1550
Qawaasem predictably took the 1550 on Thursday, as the horse was a heavy favorite before the race. Valonia and Oriel finished behind Qawaasem. The victor was coming off a third-place finish on June 28 at Newmarket. Jockey Charlie Hills said he's going to race Qawaasem at seven furlongs next, per SportingLife.com.
Montiridge Captures the 1625
Montiridge was another favorite that didn't disappoint on Thursday, galloping ahead of Ashdan in the 1625. Jockey Richard Hughes tried a different strategy with the horse, setting the pace early and never giving it up. It was a strong finish for a horse that has to be strongly considered moving forward. Montiridge placed second in June at Royal Ascot and first in May at Sandown.
Last Sovereign Finishes Strong in the 1700
Jockey Jacob Butterfield ran an excellent race with Last Sovereign, waiting until the final stretch to kick it into high gear and capture the 1700. Last Sovereign beat out Doctor Parkes and favorite Avon Breeze. After a disappointing start to 2013, Last Sovereign has now won the horse's last two races (won at Ripon in June).