This has been the most intense and strange start to the flat racing season in the history of British racing. The enforced break from racing meant we didn’t get a flat racing meeting on turf until Wednesday of this week but the hard work of countless people working in the sport has ensured a first week like no other.
Just days after the first tentative steps at Newcastle on Monday and it’s time for the first Classic of the season. The 2,000 Guineas sees the best three year old milers around converge on Newmarket for a hugely intriguing race. It is not the only contest worth getting excited about on the day though as we have explained below in our betting preview for Saturday’s massive meeting at Newmarket.
The 1,000 Guineas has thrown up some surprises in recent years. Winners have gone in at 14/1, 66/1 and 9/1 in just the last four years so it is becoming an increasingly difficult puzzle for punters to unpick. On the flip side, the race has only increased in terms of entertainment value and the build up to the first fillies’ Classic of the season is hugely exciting, not least due to the unusual circumstances of sport this year.
Given the recent postponement of racing, fans and punters alike have been particularly looking forward to the 1,000 Guineas as well as the rest of the high calibre card at Newmarket on Sunday. With a marathon 10 races to get through, there is a huge chance to beat the bookies so let’s see if we can find the winners in the races that matter.
2000 Guineas Day: Saturday
|1.15||Betfair Exchange Handicap||Class 2||5f|
|1.50||Palace House Stakes||Group 3||5f|
|2.25||Dahlia Fillies' Stakes||Group 2||1m2f|
|3.35||2,000 Guineas Stakes||Group 1||1m|
|4.10||Betfair Exchange Handicap||Class 3||1m|
|4.45||Betfair Podcast Handicap||Class 2||7f|
|5.20||Ryan Moore Betfair Handicap||Class 2||6f|
|5.55||Betfair Exchange Handicap||Class 2||1m4f|
The 2,000 Guineas (and particularly the unbeaten Charlie Appleby runner Pinatubo) is the main feature of Saturday’s racing at Newmarket. It is testament to the huge amount of work that has been undertaken that the first Classic of the year can take place at its spiritual home and that it is being so well supported by the rest of the card.
Win Bigger On The Betfair Exchange Handicap
1.15, Class 2, 5f
The card gets underway with a Class 2 handicap that is as competitive as you would expect at a meeting this calibre. One of the drawbacks of the regulations that govern racing during the current situation is that there is currently a maximum limit of 12 horses per race. That really affects this sort of contest which would usually be a thrilling, full field sprint.
On the plus side, fewer punters should see their chances go up in smoke as their horse gets in traffic trouble. Andrew Balding will certainly be hopeful that his five year old Stone Of Destiny gets some good luck in running in the opener. Stone Of Destiny is back down to the mark at which he last won so an each way bet looks well priced at 9/1.
Stone Of Destiny to win at 9/1
Betfair Supports Racing Welfare Palace House Stakes
1.50, Group 3, 5f
After the opening handicap it is time for the Group level racing to begin with the second race on the Saturday card at Newmarket. The Palace House Stakes is a well-regarded Group 3 race and presents a great opportunity for Hareem Queen.
For the popular trainer/owner duo of Karl Burke and John Dance, Hareem Queen is a progressive four year old filly who has already had some success in 2020. She wasn’t seen at all as a juvenile but wasted little time in showing what she could do last year before making further improvements this year.
There were some who wondered whether she was just a one track wonder before the Hever Sprint Stakes given that all three of her wins came at Southwell but she silenced those critics with an eye-catching win in that Listed contest at Lingfield. The fact you can get odds of 10/1 about her chances reflects the step up in class and that she is transferring to the turf but with further improvement to come, Hareem Queen can land at least a place in this.
Hareem Queen Each Way at 10/1
Betfair Dahlia Fillies' Stakes
2.25, Group 2, 1m2f
The quality of racing takes another step up for the next race, the Dahlia Fillies’ Stakes. This Group 2 contest has been won by some very good horses in recent years and it is relatively rare for outsiders to beat those at the top of the betting. The last 10 years have provided just one double figure winner but three winning favourites and there’s every chance that trend will continue with the 2020 renewal.
Terebellum must be considered a worthy favourite for the race. She earned many fans for her performances last year, winning on her debut as a three year old before earning Group 2 success at Deauville and then running with real credit in the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera Longines at Longchamp. The fact that connections have kept her racing as a four year old is a sign that they are confident she will more than pay her way this over this season which should really start with a win at Newmarket.
Terebellum to Win at 7/4
Betfair Exchange Free Bet Streak Newmarket Stakes
3.00, Listed, 1m2f
The ante post betting market for the Newmarket Stakes saw punters being a little tentative with their positions as many of the leading contenders had multiple options for this weekend’s racing. Connections of those who remain in the field, therefore, are clearly confident about their charges’ chances.
John Gosden and all of those involved with Waldkonig have several reasons to be confident about this physically imposing horse. His debut win on the all-weather track at Wolverhampton was impressive enough for bookies to price him up at 33/1 with the Derby and his price for Epsom is likely to be cut considerably after the Newmarket Stakes.
This is clearly a big step up in class from what we have seen from him before but Waldkonig is a half-brother to Waldgeist who won the Arc, so he is expected to excel over the middle distances. He also has enough pace to take the race away from his opponents so is very much one to look forward to at Newmarket.
Waldkonig to Win at 5/4
Qipco 2,000 Guineas Stakes
3.35, Group 1, 1m
This is the race that we have all been building up to for months now. The 2,000 Guineas is the chance for the crop of the three year old horses to shine and this year’s renewal could just include a genuine superstar.
Pinatubo is the horse that everybody has been talking about all winter after his phenomenal two year old season saw him rated higher than Frankel at the same stage of their careers. It all started with victory in a novices contest on the all-weather at Wolverhampton where he caught the eye and then he got progressively better with every performance. As well as his turn of pace and the smoothness with which he travels, the most impressive thing about Pinatubo last year was just how professionally he went about his business. Only once did he play up before the race (in his second run at Epsom); he usually just gets on with his work before taking the race away from his opposition.
There are concerns about a lack of a warm-up run, the length of time that he’s had off the track and the fact that he ran six times as a two year old but there is no doubt at all that Pinatubo is the best horse in the field for this year’s 2,000 Guineas.
Those who are not convinced about the wisdom of backing an odds-on favourite should instead consider an each way bet on Kameko at 7/1. Andrew Balding’s colt progressed very well last season which ended with a very good Group 1 win in the rescheduled Vertem Futurity Trophy and he is a good price even if he ends up only being the best of the rest.
Pinatubo to Win at 5/6
Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Handicap
4.10, Class 3, 1m
There’s always a feeling of after the Lord Mayor’s show for the rest of the card after a race of the calibre of the 2,000 Guineas but Newmarket have done a good job of putting on some races which should be exciting enough, including this one mile handicap.
Ryan Moore knows just what it takes to guide a horse to success in this sort of challenging race and he may hold the key as he rides a very good horse in the shape of Aces. Ian Williams’ eight year old is also an experienced competitor and could land this one as he makes his return after nearly a year off the track.
Aces to Win
Betfair Racing Only Bettor Podcast Handicap
4.45, Class 2, 7f
William Haggas thought that he had a smart performer in Nahaarr but did not believe that last season would go quite so well for him. After winning on his debut as a three year old at Doncaster, Nahaarr went on to win three more races in a row, completing the four timer at Chelmsford.
Nahaarr’s winning run was brought to an end when he made a further step up in grade for a Class 2 handicap at Newmarket where he finished third. He is open to more improvement as a four year old and is a worthy favourite from towards the bottom of the weights in this one.
Nahaarr to Win at 13/8
Ryan Moore Columns On Betting.Betfair Handicap
5.20, Class 2, 6f
The penultimate race of the day is another competitive handicap, this time over a distance of six furlongs. There are some handy horses in the field but the class option is undoubtedly Lazuli for Charlie Appleby. His class has not been missed by the handicapper and Lazuli is the top of the weights with 9st7lb to carry. He has already won twice over this trip and it is worth putting a line through his final performance of last season where he was unable to compete in a Group 3 at Newmarket.
He was always open to further improvement as a three year old and having been gelded and had wind surgery now is the time for Lazuli to really show his best.
Lazuli to Win at 5/1
Trade On The Betfair Exchange Handicap
5.55, Class 2, 1m4f
The Newmarket card for 2,000 Guineas day is a bumper one and it can pay to follow the racing all the way through as there is a cracking bet in the final race, the Trade On The Betfair Exchange Handicap. This is a competitive middle distance handicap which is sure to feature a number of horses in contention come the closing stages. The one who looks best placed to burst out of that pack and win is the Queen’s horse, Calculation.
This impressive four year old has already shown that he can win with a variety of different tactics employed and he really came to life last season after having a visor fitted by his trainer, Sir Michael Stoute. Although he wasn’t up to the challenge of a Class 2 handicap at the end of last season, he won three in a row as he rose up the ratings and can get back to winning ways on Saturday.
Calculation to Win at 6/1
1000 Guineas Day: Sunday
|1.15||Betfair EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes||Class 5||6f|
|2.25||Betfair Exchange Bet In-Play Handicap||Class 2||1m2f|
|3.00||Pretty Polly Fillies' Stakes||Listed||1m2f|
|3.35||1,000 Guineas Stakes||Group 1||1m|
|4.10||Betfair Exchange Handicap||Class 2||1m|
|4.45||EBF Stallions Novice Stakes (Div I)||Class 5||1m|
|5.20||EBF Stallions Novice Stakes (Div II)||Class 5||1m|
|5.55||Betfair Weighed In Podcast Handicap||Class 3||1m2f|
|6.30||Betfair Each Way Edge Handicap||Class 3||5f|
The 1,000 Guineas is the sole Group level race on Sunday’s card at Newmarket. It is usually a wide open affair and that’s very much the case for this year’s edition. Not only are there several classy fillies in the field but the extended break has led to even more questions.
It is certainly not the only race worth paying attention to though, as much of the rest of the card involves races for promising two- and three-year-olds. There’s also a combination of competitive handicaps and a Listed race for older horses, so there is a strong selection of racing for punters to choose from.
The first fillies’ Classic of the season is joined by nine further races on Sunday’s card at Newmarket so there is a huge amount of choice to pick through in our 1,000 Guineas Day betting tips.
Watch Racing For Free On Betfair EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes
1.15, Class 5, 6f
Sunday’s racing at Newmarket begins with a maiden for two-year-old colts and geldings. As ever, betting on this sort of race comes with something of a warning as there is no previous form to go on and juvenile colts are often prone to play up before and even during the race.
With that said, Noble Dynasty is an exciting prospect for Charlie Appleby. William Buick, who has lots of experience of steering young colts towards victory, comes in for the ride. He’ll have to deal with the weight of expectation about a horse who cost Sheikh Mohammed a seriously substantial 3,600,000gns but the pair should secure the win.
Noble Dynasty to Win
Betfair Exchange Buckhounds Stakes
1.50, Listed, 1m4f
Racing fans really do have some very good action to enjoy before and after the main event of the 1,000 Guineas on Saturday. The Buckhounds Stakes is a case in point with some very good older horses making the trip to Newmarket.
The betting is headed by Communique at 3/1 and it would be no surprise were the market to have called this one correctly. Although he didn’t finish last season strongly and does face some strong opponents, especially First In Line and Trueshan, this is his sort of race in his sort of conditions. With proven form on firm ground and officially the best horse in the race by some distance, that 3/1 is more than fair.
Communique to Win at 3/1
Betfair Exchange Bet In-Play Handicap
2.25, Class 2, 1m2f
Davydenko goes into the Betfair Exchange Bet In-Play Handicap as the top weighted horse which is probably the reason why he has given way to Good Birthday right at the top of the market. As we all know, Sir Michael Stoute is the master of getting the best out of older horses and there looks to be a great deal of potential for Daydenko to improve from three to four.
Punters following this horse saw this son of Intello win all but one of his five starts last season, the one blip coming in a 28-runner Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot. Arguably his best performance of last year came in his final run when he won the Magners Rose Handicap by 1½ lengths as he made the step up to 1m2f for the first time. Staying at that trip will suit again and a big run here could see Davydenko tried in Pattern company over the course of the season.
Davydenko to Win at 11/4
Betfair EBF Pretty Polly Fillies' Stakes
3.00, Listed, 1m2f
The Pretty Polly Stakes is always an important race for three-year-olds who showed some promise as juveniles but don’t quite have the pace to be genuine contenders for the 1,000 Guineas. Indeed, it takes a certain amount of stamina to win this 1m2f contest. That will remain true on Sunday even with the ground like to be just on the firm side of good.
The early favourite in the betting, Tiempo Vuela, showed that she does have stamina about her when winning her debut performance over 1m at Newcastle last season. John Gosden does like to introduce his potential stars on the all-weather and some believe that he has something special on his hands but is she a worthy favourite having had just the one run?
Better value may lie with Alpen Rose who ran four times as a two-year-old and coped admirably every time she was raised in class. She was in with a chance in the closing stages of her final appearance in the Listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes but couldn’t kick on through the heavy ground and she was challenging in Group 2 company on better ground in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster. She looks the sort who should come on as a three-year-old and having wintered well can land the biggest win of her career by some distance at Newmarket at nice odds of 6/1 with bet365.
Alpen Rose to Win at 6/1
Qipco 1,000 Guineas Stakes
3.35, Group 1, 1m
Hermosa, Billesdon Brook and Winter. The three last winners of the 1,000 Guineas went in at 14/1, 66/1 and 9/1 leaving punters everywhere looking for the next long odds horse to win the first fillies’ Classic of the season.
This year’s edition of the 1,000 Guineas does look to be another open one but Roger Charlton and everybody connected to Quadrilateral will hope that he can become just the second winning favourite in 10 years. She won many fans during her three starts last year, including many who saw her in the parade ring pre-race as she is a stunning chestnut. She also won all three of her starts as a juvenile, including in the Group 1 Fillies Mile where she showed some real stamina to win in what was a significant step up in class.
It is the horse who finished third that day at Newmarket who looks the best option in the 1,000 Guineas betting though. Love had been targeted at the Fillies’ Mile by her trainer, Aidan O’Brien, so the fact she was unable to win was a bit of a disappointment even if she did plug on right to the line. O’Brien was still happy enough with the performance though and believes there is more to come. We do too.
In time, Love is likely to progress up to 1m2f and potentially even 1½ miles but for now she can utilise her stamina to turn on the pressure in the Guineas and make this an uncomfortable finish for her rivals. Love also has the pace to cope with the fastest finishers so is the one to support at odds we think are generous.
Love to Win at 9/2
Setting Odds On The Betfair Exchange Handicap
4.10, Class 2, 1m
After the big race of the day we have a tricky looking Class 2 handicap to pick through. Some of these horses have shown glimpses of quality before and could be guided back to their best by the big-name, experienced jockeys who are hanging around from the Guineas.
Ryan Moore is one of those jockeys who has been well matched. His ride, Ouzo, had a very good June last year when he won a hat-trick of races and looks well enough treated for another strong showing at the start of the summer. He’s down towards the bottom of the weights but towards the top of the betting with the 9/2 available seeming a fair price.
Ouzo to Win at 9/2
Betfair Exchange More Ways To Win EBF Stallions Novice Stakes (Div I)
4.45, Class 5, 1m
We have a potential star in the field for this novice stakes contest in the shape of King Leonidas. The John Gosden-trained three-year-old was an expensive acquisition for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and lived up to the billing on her debut at Newmarket in October. Although he hasn’t been seen since, there is still a lot of excitement about how far Leonidas can go in his three-year-old season and he is rightly getting support in the betting for this one.
King Leonidas to Win
Betfair Exchange More Ways To Win EBF Stallions Novice Stakes (Div II)
5.20, Class 5, 1m
If King Leonidas is the standout horse from the first division of this handicap which has had to be split due to the 12-horse limit in place currently, then Montather is the stand out in the second division. He, too, has just one run to his name which he won well enough on the all-weather at Chelmsford.
Despite being caught up in some traffic and having a fair amount of ground to make up when he arrived in the home straight, Montather picked up well and was relatively comfortable in the end. He’ll need to step forward against this standard of opponent but can do just that for Roger Varian and Jim Crowley.
Montather to Win
Betfair Weighed In Podcast Handicap
5.55, Class 3, 1m2f
The Queen has some nice three- and four-year-old horses under the watchful eye of Sir Michael Stoute this season. Vindicate is one of those who showed an aptitude to fight in his two performances as a juvenile last season. When getting up to win in good style at Chelmsford in August he also showed he has enough pace to strike from further back in the pack and it’s that finishing speed that makes him dangerous in his handicap debut at 11/2.
Vindicate to Win at 11/2
Betfair Each Way Edge Handicap
6.30, Class 3, 5f
By the time the final race of the day comes around, we’re sure to have seen a number of short price horses fail to live up to the billing but it could end well for those who like to back the favourite as Motagally has every chance of justifying his odds of 10/3 here.
Charles Hill’s four-year-old resumes this season seeking a hat-trick having won his last two runs by more than 2 lengths. He has gone up to 93 in the rankings for those wins but that should still leave room for him to run well and hopefully make it three in a row.
Motagally to Win at 10/3
About the Guineas Festival
The two-day Guineas Festival is held at the track regarded as the headquarters of flat racing, Newmarket. It may not be the first flat meeting of the season but it does mark the occasion when the campaign really begins to take off. For many owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys, the races which shape their entire season more than any other are the five British Classic contests, the first two of which come right here in early May.
Year upon year there are mighty reputations aplenty headed into this meeting, and it is here where many a bubble is burst, and the genuine stars emerge into the limelight. The two showpiece contests held on the Rowley Mile of course take centre stage, but there’s plenty more on offer besides, including a host of cracking handicap action and further Group contests. Here we take a closer look at the standout events.
This contest really needs very little introduction. Acting as the first Classic of the season, the 2000 Guineas is without doubt one of the most anticipated races of the year. Held over the straight mile, this is a top tier Group 1 affair. Traditionally thought of as a race for the three year old colts, fillies are actually permitted to enter, although it is exceptionally rare for them to do so these days. In addition to the undoubted prestige and massively enhanced breeding value, there is also plenty of prize money up for grabs – £500,000 in 2019, reduced to £250,000 in 2020 – making this one of the biggest targets of the season for the very best of the three year olds in training.
Having first been run in 1809, its hard to know where to start when picking out the best of the previous winners. Nijinsky, Brigadier Gerard, Dancing Brave, Nashwan, Sea The Stars, and of course the greatest racehorse of all time, Frankel, all stormed to victory here during their illustrious careers.
Of course with it being exclusively for three year olds, there are no multiple winners amongst the horses, but that’s the case with jockeys and trainers. Ahead of the 2019 renewal Aidan O’Brien was the leading trainer with a staggering nine victories to his name between the years of 1998 and 2018. For the jockeys we have to look much further back in the history books: James “Jem” Robinson won an impressive nine renewals of the 2000 Guineas between 1825 and 1848 – and he rode a further 15 Classic winners in his illustrious career.
The first 2000 Guineas race in 1809 was won by a horse called Wizard, who was second in the Derby later than season. The fastest recorded winning time of the 2000 Guineas was 1:35.08 when the Andre Fabre-trained Pennekamp won in 1995.
The reason the majority of the classiest fillies in the business don’t bother with the 2000 Guineas is that they have a Classic contest all of their own at this meeting. Open to three year old fillies, the Group 1, 1000 Guineas is the spectacular highlight on the Sunday card. Held over the same one-mile course as the 2000 Guineas, the race matches the Saturday showpiece in prize money – again £500,000 in 2019 down to £250,000 in 2020 – and annually attracts the top performers of the fairer sex to Suffolk.
Coming into existence in 1814 – five years after the 2000 Guineas – the list of previous winners here reads like something of a hall of fame of the best fillies to have ever graced the turf. Pretty Polly, Sun Chariot, Musidora and a clutch of others were all good enough to warrant having a race named in their honour, whilst in more recent times, Russian Rhythm, Attraction, Minding and Winter are amongst those to have scorched the turf.
We have to glance back to the 1800s for the leading trainer and jockey for the 1000 Guineas. George Fordham was certainly the top dog when he was around: he was the Champion Jockey every year from 1855 to 1863. He has also won the 1000 Guineas more times than any other jockey having rode to success seven times between 1859 and 1883. For the trainers, the “Emperor of Trainers” Robert Robson still leads the way with nine wins, despite these coming between 1818 and 1827.
Other Key Races
Jockey Club Stakes
Topping the bill on the Saturday undercard is this 1m4f Group 2 contest open to all runners aged four and older which offered £105,000 in total prize money in 2018. Lester Piggott had a particular affinity for this race during his legendary career, racking up seven wins between 1950 and 1982.
Previous St Leger winners have fared well when stepping down in trip here in the past, with Sixties Icon and Silver Patriarch amongst the previous winners. In terms of subsequent achievements 2002 champ Marienbard may have been the best of the lot, with the Godolphin runner going on to cause something of a shock when landing that season’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
With the Sunday of this meeting being lit up the opening fillies’ Classic of the season, it is fitting that there is something of a fillies theme to the day overall. Pick of the supporting acts is this contest named in honour of one of the all-time greats – the dual King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner, Dahlia.
Held over 1m1f, this Group 2 event is open to all fillies and mares aged four and older and offered £105,000 in total prize money in 2018. One of the newer races at this meeting, this contest was first run in 1997 and has consistently attracted the best of the fillies and mares to have been kept in training beyond their Classic season. Topping the list of winners in the first 22 editions of the race was the Charlie Appleby filly Wuheida, who also counted a win in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf to her name.
One of the real selling points of British Horse Racing is the underlying history of the biggest events of the season. They don’t come any bigger than the Classics, and it is on the back of the 2000 and 1000 Guineas – both over 200 years old now – that this two-day cracker of a meeting has been built.
The “Guineas” of the titles of these races refers to the unit of currency used in the initial prize fund all those years ago. A Guinea being equal to 21 shillings, and for those wondering what a shilling is, they equates to around 5p, so 21 of them is £1.05 in today’s money.
There have been numerous memorable moments at this meeting over the years, with the 2000 Guineas in particular being the scene of many an unforgettable contest. From the brilliance of Brigadier Gerard in 1971, to Aidan O’Brien becoming the all-time most successful trainer in the history of the race with the success of Churchill in 2017. Our own personal favourite though was the utter disdain with which Frankel treat his rivals in 2011, in a performance which really had to be seen to be believed. If future years are to be anything like as good as those gone by, this meeting looks set to continue top serve up an early season treat.
The 2000 Guineas makes up a third of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing along with the Derby and the St Leger. There have been 15 Triple Crown winners over the years, with Nijinsky being the most recent, in 1970.
The Fillies Triple Crown, meanwhile, comprises of the 1000 Guineas, the Epsom Oaks and the St Leger. There have been nine winners of the Fillies Triple Crown, with Oh So Sharp being the last in 1985.
Astoundingly, there has been a horse that has won FOUR Classics in a season. In 1902 the filly Sceptre won the 2000 Guineas, the 1000 Guineas, the Epsom Oaks and the St Leger to write herself into the history books. This went one better than the 1868 effort of Formosa who won the Fillies Triple Crown (the first to do so) and also dead heated in the 2000 Guineas.
A Complete History of the Guineas Meeting
Scheduled for late April or early May, Newmarket’s Guineas Meeting is a special occasion thanks to the inclusion of two races, those of course being the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas. The former has always been reserved for fillies with the latter being a mixed-sex event, albeit one utterly dominated by the males.
For so long the pair of Classics have undoubtedly been two of the greatest races to take place on British soil. Their history, which stretches back over two centuries, is every bit as fascinating too, as you can see for yourself below.
1809 – The 2,000 Guineas Begins
Under the guidance of Sir Charles Bunbury, also the mastermind behind the Derby at Epsom, the Jockey Club establishes the 2,000 Guineas. The first edition of the race was held on 18th April 1809 and the title related to the total prize money awarded for it. Back then a guinea amounted to 21 shillings, or £1.05 converted into today’s money, and the entire purse was worth approximately £170,000.
1814 – The 1,000 Guineas is Born
Much like the other Guineas established five years prior, Bunbury and the Jockey Club joined forces to introduce the 1,000 Guineas. Together the one mile events took little time to establish themselves as top class events. By the mid-1860s they were up there as some of the most prestigious three year old only contests taking place in the country.
1825 – Tontine Walks to Victory
A series of withdrawals left Tontine the only horse left standing in the 1,000 Guineas. It was the first, and currently still only time in which any Classic was won courtesy of a walkover.
1840 – Bookies Playing It Safe
There were no surprises in the 1,000 Guineas this year as filly by the name of Crucifix expectedly got the job done at tiny odds of 1/10. To this day this remains the shortest price of any Guineas winner in the history of both races. Interestingly, Crucifix also won the 1840 edition of the 2,000 Guineas, making her the first of four horses to do the Guineas double.
1859 – Fordham Off The Mark
A truly stunning display from George Fordham and his mount Mayonaise obliterate the field during this 1,000 Guineas renewal. The pair finished 20 lengths clear of their nearest rivals, the biggest winning margin in the history of the Guineas. Following on from this success, Fordham rode another six winners to glory in the 1,000 Guineas, placing him as the race’s all-time leading jockey.
1944 – Filly Wins The 2,000 Guineas
Garden Path flies the flag for the girls as she manages to beat the colts in the 2,000 Guineas. Prior to her triumph, no female horse had won the race since Triple Crown champion Sceptre in 1902. There’s not been a successfully filly since either and who knows if we’ll ever see another.
You would expect any filly capable of winning the 2,000 would be primed for an illusive career but sadly things didn’t pan out that way for Garden Path. She injured herself during the Derby, finshing unplaced before retiring at the end of the season.
1956 – Houghton Makes History
Helen Johnson Houghton becomes the first female trainer to record a win in the 2,000 Guineas thanks to 50/1 shot Gilles de Retz. The record books initially showed otherwise though as at time the Jockey Club didn’t allow women to hole a trainers’ licence. Charles Jerdein took the plaudits as a result but all the hard work was fully Houghton’s.
In 1977 the Jockey Club belatedly recognised the achievements of Houghton who shortly afterwards became one of four women to be elected as the first female members.
1970 – Nijinsky’s Claims First Jewel in the Crown
Nijinsky, later an incredibly successful sire, begins his Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing effort by winning the 2,000 Guineas. Victories later follow in the Derby and the St Leger, making him the last horse to manage a clean sweep of the elite three year old events. So rarely attempted since, it’s quite possible we’ll never see another horse pull off the incredible feat.
1971 – Trail Races Introduced
Ascot creates both the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes to serve as major trial events for the respective Classics. The Group 3 races initially had some success but by 1979 they had both transferred to Salisbury and were discontinued a further seven years later.
1980 – Nureyev Disqualified
Controversy surrounded this year’s running of the 2,000 Guineas as first past the post Nureyev lost his crown following a lengthy stewards’ inquiry. Taking a dim light on Philippe Paquet’s decision to push through the crowd in the mid-stages, the stewards felt they had no other choice than to disqualify the Frenchman’s horse. Nureyev never raced again and will be remembered mainly as being the first, and still only horse ever to be disqualified from the 2,000 Guineas.
1994 – Record Breaking Time
Horses are only getting quicker and stronger over time but still, nobody has been able to beat the time Mister Baileys clocked in the 1994 renewal of the 2,000 Guineas. Mark Johnston’s horse reached the line in 1:35:08, a lightning fast time but even that was almost not enough with Grand Lodge finishing just a short head behind.
1999 – Track Change
The usual home of the Guineas Meeting, the Rowley Mile was undergoing extensive redevelopment work just prior to the new millennium. As a result the July Course at Newmarket stepped in to host all races on the Guineas Meeting card for a one-off occasion.
2001 – Equal Purses
In the pursuit of gender equality, the powers that be decided that the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas should offer equal amounts of prize money. This has largely been the case since but occasionally one race has had a purse slightly bigger than the other, for instance in 2019 the 2000 Guineas offered an extra £23,750.
2010 – Déjà vu for Khalid Abdulla
The disqualification of Nureyev in the 1970 edition of the 2,000 Guineas handed Khalid Abdulla’s Known Fact the win and 30 years later the stewards once again did the Saudi Prince a favour. The Henry Cecil-trained Jacqueline Quest narrowly edged out the Abdulla owned Special Duty but only after bumping and drifting into her rival. Handed a fairly clear cut case, the stewards had no choice but to reverse the result and suspended Jacqueline Quest jockey Tom Queally for careless riding.
2018 – Billesdon Brook Stuns Newmarket
Any punters who put faith in Billesdon Brook were richly rewarded as the filly won the 1,000 Guineas at odds of 66/1. In doing so the filly became the longest priced winner the race has ever seen. Coincidentally she traded at the same price as the longest priced 2000 Guineas winner too, Rockavon in 1961.
2019 – O’Brien hits 10
There are few major titles Aidan O’Brien hasn’t got his hands on but even so his record in the 2,000 Guineas borders on the unbelievable. The Irishman saddled his 10th winner in 2019, his fifth of the decade. In the process he extended his lead as the race’s all-time leading trainer and you can rest assured he’s not done yet.