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The QIPCO 1000 Guineas Stakes

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History

The second Classic of the British Flat season, the QIPCO 1000 Guineas is open to three-year-old fillies. It’s run on the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket, over one mile (1,600 metres) in late April or early May.

Trial races are run in mid-April, but many contenders head for the 1000 Guineas without a run since the previous autumn.

The QIPCO 1000 Guineas dates back to 1814 – it celebrated its 200th running in 2013 – five years after the introduction of the 2000 Guineas, an equivalent race open to both colts and fillies.

The 2010 running was won by French jockey Stéphane Pasquier on Special Duty following a stewards’ inquiry which resulted in the disqualification of first-past-the-post Jacqueline Quest who was deemed to have bumped into her rival. Extraordinarily, Special Duty won the French 1000 Guineas later in the same month – also after a stewards’ inquiry.

In 2011 Frankie Dettori and Godolphin teamed up for their third triumph in the race thanks to Blue Bunting, who came from nearly last to first to win going away and lead Frankie to one of his trademark flying dismounts in the winner’s enclosure afterwards.

That victory put Dettori level with Richard Hills on three victories in the race, just behind Kieren Fallon on four.

Record-breaking trainer Aidan O’Brien enjoyed a fourth win in the race via Winter in 2017, but still trails the late Sir Henry Cecil by two wins.

The biggest surprise came in 2018, when Billesdon Brook won at 66-1. The smallest surprise? Tontine’s victory in 1825, when she was the only runner.

Current leading jockey: Ryan Moore, 3 wins (2012, 2015, 2016)
Current leading trainer: Aidan O’Brien, 4 wins (2005, 2012, 2016, 2017)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

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No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Billesdon Brook makes history with 66-1 success

Billesdon Brook became the biggest winner of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas when powering to a one-and-three-quarter length victory.

The 66-1 chance provided Sean Levey, 30, with his first British Classic success and the Hannons with a second victory in the race after Sky Lantern won in 2013.

Billesdon Brook had been beaten more than five lengths in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes but the improving daughter of Champs Elysees produced a fine turn of foot to quicken past the staying-on Laurens. Happily, the favourite, kept on for third with Wild Illusion fourth.

“That was a surprise but there was nothing flukey about it, she travelled lovely,” Hannon said.
“All of our Guineas winners have needed their first run, we got Sky Lantern beaten in her trial and Night Of Thunder beaten in his, and they both won here.

“Today she looked great, she’s done no work really between the Nell Gwyn and here but she’s obviously a really good filly and it’s so nice for this big syndicate who’ve been in the game a long time and have worked hard for a day like this. They will enjoy it that’s for sure.”

Levey, a former apprentice with Aidan O’Brien, said: “It’s every man’s dream, I know we ride lots of good winners with the help of Richard Hannon, but you are always looking for that good horse.

“You always want to compete in the big races but to win one is amazing. There is never a hiding place in a Guineas and she has won it decisively so she has to be good.”

Karl Burke has the Prix Diane (French Oaks) in mind for Laurens (7-1), who went down fighting in the fillies’ mile Classic.

“Take nothing away from our filly,” he said. “She is a very high-class filly. She has gone a fantastic gallop and I’m pretty sure we will go straight to the Prix de Diane now. The extra two-and-a-half furlongs will be ideal. She is so honest and I’m delighted.

“The trip is the key. I think she is crying out for further, although she is not slow. If she’d have won today, we might have gone to the Irish Guineas. We’ll sleep on it. She is in it, but she is also in the Coronation. However, I think everybody, when we sit down and discuss it, will be in favour of stepping up in trip.”

The 11-4 favourite Happily was a staying-on third, half a length further back under Ryan Moore. Trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “She will probably go to the Irish Guineas now. Ryan was very happy with her. Her best part of the race was the final half furlong, as she was coming back and finishing well.”

Wild Illusion was back in fourth for Charlie Appleby. Her jockey, James Doyle, said: “I’m pretty pleased with her. She coped with the ground pretty well and she is crying out for a bit more distance.”

Results

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The Course

Newmarket is known as the “Home of Racing” - and who would argue?

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Certainly not James I, the first notable fan who built a palace in the Suffolk town in 1605. Racing fanatic Charles II followed suit, establishing the first horse race ever run in Britain under written rules. The Rowley Mile Racecourse, indeed – one of two at Newmarket, the other being the July Course – is named after his favourite hack, Old Rowley.

Today, Newmarket is horseracing’s centre of the Universe, with 2,500 thoroughbreds in training, shared by 75 licensed trainers and spread out over 2,800 acres of training grounds. Oh, and there’s also enough space left over for 65 stud farms, including the National Stud, and Tattersalls, the biggest horse sales company in Europe.

The QIPCO 2000 Guineas, one of Britain’s five Classics, is hosted by Newmarket. The race was first run in 1809. The venue also stages the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.

Getting there

Newmarket Racecourses,
Westfield House,
The Links,
Newmarket,
Suffolk,
CB8 0TG

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