The top 5 Greatest 2000 Guineas’ champions

The 2000 Guineas is the first Classic of the Flat season and represents the first opportunity for a new generation of equine stars to announce themselves on the global stage.

The race is open to three-year-old colts and fillies and is contested over Newmarket’s iconic Rowley Mile. The start time for this year’s renewal is 3:35pm on Saturday 6th May.

Every Guineas winner can be considered a champion but every now and then one comes along that just has that little bit more star quality than the rest. To narrow it down to a top 5 was nigh on impossible but it’s hard to argue that any of the below legends don’t deserve to be there!

 

Frankel – 2011

How can you start anywhere else than Frankel, the greatest horse of his generation and possibly ever.

In 2011, Frankel put up one of the most devastating 2000 Guineas performances of all time, destroying the opposition with a piece of front-running brilliance which literally took the breath away.

He had the race sewn up by half way and passed the post six lengths clear of his nearest rival.  It was jockey Tom Queally’s first Classic winner and trainer Sir Henry Cecil’s 25th.

 

Nijinsky – 1970

The 1970 winner went on to become one of the 21st century’s most successful horses ridden by one of the most dominant jockeys in Lester Piggott.

His victory in the Guineas against 13 rivals was straightforward. He led two out travelling powerfully and was not extended to beat Yellow God by two and a half lengths.

Unbeaten in five starts as a two-year-old, Nijinsky became the first horse in 35 years to win the Triple Crown. None have managed the feat since, the magnitude of the achievement is summarised in the tribute below.

 

Sea The Stars – 2009

Not an obvious candidate for Guineas glory – he was beaten in his only race as a two-year-old and had an interrupted preparation – but he moved easily throughout and eased a length clear of Delegator, the favourite, in the closing stages.

Sea the Stars went from strength to strength afterwards, winning the Derby, Eclipse, International Stakes. Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

 

Brigader Gerard – 1971

An outstanding colt who won 17 of his 18 races. Faced only five rivals at Newmarket but it was a sparkling renewal, with the three best two-year-olds of the previous season – My Swallow, Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerard – colliding head on.

Mill Reef and My Swallow had won their prep races and higher rated by the bookies, but Brigadier Gerard, making his reappearance, surged past the pair of them to win by three lengths.

 

Dancing Brave – 1986

His emphatic three-length defeat of Green Desert helped establish him as one of the greatest thoroughbreds there has been.

Unfortunate to lose his unbeaten record in the Derby on his next start before famously landing a vintage renewal of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the autumn.