The 2000 Guineas – A Classic Kick-off

Frankel 2000 guineas

History

The QIPCO 2000 Guineas is a Group One flat horse race in Great Britain open exclusively to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies.

The famous race is run over the distance of One mile on the Rowley Mile course at Horse Racing’s headquarters, Newmarket. It is the first of Britain’s five Classic races to be run in the calendar year.

The race was first run on 18 April 1809, and it preceded the introduction of a version for fillies only, the 1000 Guineas Stakes, by five years. The races were named according to their original prize funds.

In more modern times, the Ballydoyle and Coolmore partnership have dominated the race.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien is the race’s all-time leading trainer having amassed a total of eight wins with his first winner, King of Kings, winning in 1998. The race has gained status, the prize money on offer has also trended upwards. This year’s purse is £500,000.

The Triple Crown

Not only is it the first classic of the season but it also serves as the opening leg of the Triple Crown. A title compromised of the 2000 Guineas followed by the Epsom Derby and the Doncaster St Leger.

The most recent horse to complete the famous treble was that of Nijinsky in 1970. However, more recently the Aidan O’Brien trained Camelot came within ¾ of a length in 2012, just missing out in the St Leger.

Famous Winners

Rock of Gibraltar -2002

A thrilling renewal culminated in the Johnny Murtagh-ridden Rock Of Gibraltar (9/1) holding off the late charge of stablemate Hawk Wing (6/4 fav) to win by a neck.

Racing in the colours of the then Manchester Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Rock of Gibraltar would go on to rack up seven successive Group One victories before retiring.

Sea The Stars – 2009

This half-brother to Galileo won eight out of the nine races he competed in and has gone on to be an outstanding sire. Nine years ago however, this young colt was lining up for his fourth start in the 2000 Guineas, a race he proceeded to win fairly comfortably.

Frankel – 2011

A horse that needs no introduction. Winner of the 2011 Guineas, which would be his first of a record breaking nine straight Group One victories and the 6th victory in a succession of 14 races unbeaten for the Juddomonte favourite.

Trainer Henry Cecil’s 25th Classic was already in the bag with half of the race to run as he imparted a 15 length gap on the rest of the field.

This is the second year that his hotly anticipated prodigy’s will take to the Suffolk based course and current fourth favourite Elarquam will be hoping to become his first son to win this famous classic.

2018 Contenders

This year serves as another fantastic renewal and looks set to be another fierce battle between Ballydoyle and Godolphin.

O’Brien brings over two of the top six in the market. Headed up by Gustav Klimt, this blomossing three year old has converted on three out of his four starts.

The Galileo colt was the winner of the Group 2 Bet365 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last summer and will look to improve with his first Group One victory this weekend.

Saxon Warrior comes to Newmarket with high hopes and an undefeated record. Having converted on all three of his starts, impressively at Group One and Group Two level already, Saxon Warrior comes into the race with every chance.

The Mark Johnston-trained Elarqam is another leading contender.

The son of previous winner and British Champions Series star Frankel comes into the race on the back of a Group Three victory at Newmarket last September.  Also unbeaten, he will be hoping to become the first of Frankel’s prodigy to win the Newmarket Classic.

The final contender comes from racing giant, Godolphin. Trainer Charlie Appleby has been in scintillating form recently and he will hoping to score the first classic of the season with Masar.

Despite having an inconsistent winter abroad, the colt returned to win the Guineas trial race, the Bet365 Craven Stakes, at Newmarket very handsomely last month.

It looks like a special race on the face of it with multiple strong fancies and with 2 other Group races on the Newmarket card it looks like a brilliant day of Racing.

As always, you can tune in to watch Ed Chamberlin and the ITV Racing team from 1.30pm on Saturday; with the 2000 Guineas set to start at 3:35.

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