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10 of the best: QIPCO 2000 Guineas

9 Mar 2017

With entries for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas released this week, we remember ten great winners.

Sea The Stars, 2000 Guineas

Sea The Stars lands the 2000 Guineas in 2009. Picture:racingfotos.com

The 2017 QIPCO British Champions Series gets underway at Newmarket on Saturday 6th May with the first Classic of the season – the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.

Churchill currently heads the market, but can he replicate the performance of some of these greats?

1947 – TUDOR MINSTREL

Trainer: Fred Darling
Jockey: Gordon Richards
Owner: Arthur Dewar

The champion two-year-old of 1946 (unbeaten in four starts) won at Bath on his reappearance in 1947 before starting at 11-8 favourite for the Guineas and romping home by eight lengths, which remains a record margin. He would have won by a much bigger distance had Gordon Richards not eased him up in the closing stages. Tudor Minstrel started at 4-7 for the Derby on the strength of that runaway victory but did not stay, finishing fourth.

1968 – SIR IVOR

Trainer: Vincent O’Brien
Jockey: Lester Piggott
Owner: Raymond Guest

The American-bred colt was sent off 11-8 favourite and won by a length and a half after having too much speed for Petingo, his principal rival, in the closing stages. Showed similar acceleration to win the Derby on his next start, after which Lester Piggott declared that he was “the best I have ridden.” Piggott, though, had other riches to come.

1970 – NIJINSKY

Trainer: Vincent O’Brien
Jockey: Lester Piggott
Owner: Charles Engelhard

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. His victory in the Guineas, at 4-7 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.

Nijinsky landed the St Leger (left) and the Derby (right) as well as the 2000 Guineas

Nijinsky landed the St Leger (left) and the Derby (right) as well as the 2000 Guineas

1971 – BRIGADIER GERARD

Trainer: Joe Mercer
Jockey: Dick Hern
Owner: Jean Hislop

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 started at 6-4 and 2-1, respectively, but Brigadier Gerard, making his reappearance and sent off at 11-2, surged past the pair of them to win by three lengths.

1976 – WOLLOW

Trainer: Henry Cecil
Jockey: Gianfranco Dettori
Owner: Carlo d’Alessio

The runaway champion two-year-old of 1975 – he was rated at least 5lb superior to all his peers – won the Greenham on his return and then decisively beat 16 opponents in the Guineas after being sent off at evens. Started 11-10 favourite for the Derby next time but did not last home, finishing fifth. Henry Cecil, the winning trainer, was to keep that in mind more than three decades later, when Frankel arrived at his yard.

1984 – EL GRAN SENOR

Trainer: Vincent O’Brien
Jockey: Pat Eddery
Owner: Robert Sangster

Unbeaten in four starts as a juvenile and beat Sadlers Wells, his stablemate, on his return. He preserved his 100 percent record when beating the exalted trio of Chief Singer, Lear Fan and Rainbow Quest in his Guineas and then started odds-on for the Derby. However, he was outstayed by Secreto, before going one better in the Irish equivalent.

1986 – DANCING BRAVE

Trainer: Guy Harwood
Jockey: Greville Starkey
Owner: Prince Khalid Abdullah

His emphatic three-length defeat of Green Desert, after being sent off 15-8 favourite, 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.

1989 – NASHWAN

Trainer: Dick Hern
Jockey: Willie Carson
Owner: Hamdan Al Maktoum

Operated under the radar as a two-year-old, winning both his starts (like Dancing Brave before him). He was a huge gamble for the Guineas, though, after word of sizzling gallops got out and he won by a length as 3-1 favourite. Went on to win the Derby, Eclipse and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes during a memorable summer.

2009 – SEA THE STARS

Trainer: John Oxx
Jockey: Mick Kinane
Owner: Christopher Tsui

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

Sea The Stars

SEA THE STARS and Mick Kinane for trainer JOHN OXX; Racingfotos.com

2011 – FRANKEL

Trainer: Henry Cecil
Jockey: Tom Queally
Owner: Prince Khalid Abdullah

Regarded by many as the greatest thoroughbred to have graced the turf, Frankel was a remarkable six-length winner – making all and burning off the opposition a long way from home. The 1-2 favourite had been 15 lengths clear at halfway, setting fractions usually reserved for protagonists in the July Cup. His story was to have many more unforgettable chapters and, by the time he was retired, he had won all 14 of his races – nine of them at Group One level.