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Sit back and Watch

As the first two Classics of the season, the 2000 and 1000 QIPCO Guineas are among some of the most famous Flat races anywhere in the world.

 

Run over a mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile racecourse, the 2000 Guineas is contested by colts and the 1000 Guineas by fillies. The two races are limited to three-year-old Thoroughbreds only, with total prize money for each race now at more than £500,000.

 

The 2000 Guineas was first run in 1809, while the inaugural 1000 Guineas was staged five years later. Both races were established by The Jockey Club and were the brainchild of Sir Charles Bunbury, who also co-founded the Derby at Epsom Downs. At the time the races were named after the prize money given to the winner of each – with one guinea amounting to 21 shillings or £1.05.

 

By the 1860s the Guineas were considered to be two of the most significant races in the UK for three-year-olds and today attract the very best horses of their age in Europe. Often the races highlight potential contenders and winners of the third and fourth Classics of each year, the Investec Derby and Investec Oaks staged at Epsom Downs.

 

Here, we’ve picked out some of the very best 2000 and 1000 Guineas from our archives, putting them in one place for you to watch from start to finish.

BRIGADIER GERARD – 1971 2000 GUINEAS

 

Few horses have achieved a rating of 140 or more in the 70 years that Timeform has been assessing Flat racing horses. So, it’s extraordinary to consider that two of them – Brigadier Gerard and Mill Reef - went head to head in the 2000 Guineas in 1971.

 

Mill Reef had started the 6-4 favourite, while Brigadier Gerard – unbeaten in four starts at the time - went off at 11-2.

 

With only six runners going to post what the race lacked in quantity it certainly made up for in quality, with the first three in the betting boasting 16 wins from 17 races under their belts at the time.

 

Brigadier Gerard won the 2000 Guineas and went on to a career in which he was beaten only once, at York. His rating of 144 has been bettered by one horse since – the legendary Frankel.

 

 

MISTER BAILEYS – 1994 2000 GUINEAS

 

An impressive seven-length winner on debut as a two-year-old, Mister Baileys went on to make history not only for himself but his connections too.

The horse was trainer Mark Johnston’s first Classic runner and jockey Jason Weaver’s first Classic ride.

 

Relatively unfancied at 16-1 in a field of 23, Mister Baileys joined a group of horses on the far rail before moving into the overall lead three furlongs from home.

 

An epic battle ensued with Grand Lodge and jockey Frankie Dettori, but it was Weaver and Mister Baileys who got the verdict in a photo finish and becoming the first northern-trained winner of a Classic for 17 years.

He went on to finish fourth in the Derby at Epsom Downs and was later retired to stand at the National Stud.

 

 

RUSSIAN RHYTHM – 2003 1000 GUINEAS

 

Trained by the legendary Sir Michael Stoute, Russian Rhythm enjoyed seven victories from her 10 starts in a racing career which also saw her named European Champion Three-Year-Old Filly at the Cartier Awards.

Bred in the United States, she made a winning start as a two-year-old at Newmarket in 2002 and added victories at York and Ascot to her tally in the same year.

 

Russian Rhythm took her place in the 1000 Guineas the following May without a prep race, having reportedly been slow to reach her peak condition in the build-up.

 

With trainer Stoute making no secret of her working poorly at home, her price drifted to 12-1 before the off.

 

However, once under way it was soon apparent that Russian Rhythm was on song and, despite being held up early on, eventually pulled clear to win by a length and a half from an exceptionally strong field.

SPECIOSA – 2006 1000 GUINEAS

 

While, on paper at least, Speciosa’s record of four wins from 17 starts might not compare favourably with other winners of the Classics, no one can fault how impressive she was when winning the 1000 Guineas in 2006.

 

As it transpired three of those four victories would be at Newmarket, once as a two-year-old and the other two the following year.

 

Her prep run for the Guineas was in the Nell Gwyn Stakes at the Rowley Mile, just weeks earlier. After winning that race having led from start to finish, Speciosa lined up for the 1000 Guineas 19 days later as a 10-1 chance.

 

The field of 13 split and, after leading the larger of the two groups, Speciosa stayed on under pressure to win by two lengths.

The victory for trainer Pam Sly and jockey Michael Fenton was seen as proof that the Classics aren’t always woon by Flat racing’s superpowers.

 

SEA THE STARS – 2009 2000 GUINEAS

 

Regarded by many as one of the greatest racehorses of all time, Sea The Stars became the first to win the historic treble of the 2000 Guineas, the Derby and the Coral-Eclipse since Nashhwan in 1989.

 

Trained by John Oxx in Ireland, he won two of his three races as a two-year-old before completing a perfect campaign as a three-year-old to win six Group 1 races.

 

Having been rested over the winter, Sea The Stars was entered in the Guineas without a prep run to his name. Oxx had decided to rest him before the race amid concerns over a viral infection and a temperature.

 

The win was a fourth in the race for jockey Michael Kinane, who would go on to enjoy some sensational days including winning the Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Sea The Stars remains the only horse to have won all three in the same year.

 

 

FRANKEL – 2011 2000 GUINEAS

 

There are some who believe we will never see a superstar quite as good as Frankel again.

 

Unbeaten in all 14 career starts he was the highest rated racehorse in the world from May 2011, the month he won the 2000 Guineas.

 

Trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Tom Queally, Frankel didn’t just beat the rest of the field at the Rowley Mile that day, he destroyed them.

 

Leading by 15 lengths at the halfway stage, he eventually crossed the line six lengths in front – the biggest winning margin in the race for 64 years. 

Victories don’t come much more emphatic and most pundits still consider his win that day as the greatest 2000 Guineas performance of all time.

Frankel can be found at Banstead Manor Stud at Cheveley in Suffolk, where he was also born. In his first season as a stallion he covered more than 130 mares, carrying a stud fee of £125,000.

SKY LANTERN – 2013 1000 GUINEAS

 

With three wins under her belt as a two-year-old Sky Lantern finished second in the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket in April 2013.

It meant that Richard Hannon Snr’s filly went into the 200th running of the 1000 Guineas as a 9-1 shot in a field of 15.

 

Positioned in mid-field for most of the contest, jockey Richard Hughes pushed her to the front just 50 yards from home to score a half a length win over Just The Judge and securing a first ever Classic win for the jockey.

 

Sky Lantern went on to win the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and Sun Chariot Stakes in the same season, but was retired after failing to reproduce her best form as a four-year-old.

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