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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, 5 wins (2005, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2019)

Previous winners

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Hermosa proves the ace in Aidan O'Brien pack

Aidan O’Brien celebrated yet another QIPCO Guineas Festival success on Sunday as Hermosa completed a Classic double for the trainer on the weekend with victory in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.

Runner-up in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile over course and distance last year, Hermosa was having her first start of the season and was brave under Wayne Lordan, making all and repelling the challenge of fellow Irish raider Lady Kaya to score by a length in the second QIPCO British Champions Series race of the year.

The Landwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes winner, Qabala, who was seeking to hand her 19-year-old jockey David Egan a landmark early career success, took third, a further neck away from the winner.

O’Brien has now trained the winners of 55 Champions Series races since its inception in 2011. It is the fourth time he has trained the winners of the 1000 and 2000 Guineas in the same season.

Hermosa’s victory was a second in three years for Wayne Lordan, who struck aboard another Aidan O’Brien-trained filly, Winter, in 2017. Sunday’s win was also O’Brien’s fifth in the first fillies’ Classic of the campaign.

 ”I’m delighted,” said O’Brien. “She did very well over the winter and ran an unbelievable race in the Fillies’ Mile here last year and she is very uncomplicated. She is tough, like her sister [the Group 1 winner Hydrangea]. She stays well. Wayne gave her a great ride. It is just a privilege and it’s a credit to everyone at home.”

O’Brien added: “Physically, she has changed a lot over the winter and really grew into a three-year-old. She is a very tough filly.”

Winning jockey Wayne Lordan said: “I rode her aggressively because she stays really well but she saves a little bit for herself.

“I would not think she would have any problem staying the Oaks trip. I actually fancied her. I thought she had good form. She is a filly who will stay and she saves enough. I knew, riding her here, if you jump out and go real forward and they start lining up behind you, it would take a really good one to get by her. It is great to be riding in these races and to get a win is fantastic.”

Hermosa is now a general 6-1 for the Investec Oaks at Epsom next month.

Second-placed Lady Kaya, a first Classic runner for trainer Sheila Lavery, ran a huge race.

“I owe a lot to both [jockeys] Pat Smullen and Johnny Murtagh,” the trainer said. “Both have been brilliant in giving me help and information. The filly has run wonderfully but in many ways maybe it’s like the Moyglare Stud Stakes last season, in which I thought we had it won and nearly got there. That was over seven furlongs – I’m not discounting running this filly over a mile, but I’ll have to take advice.”

David Egan, jockey of third-placed Qabala, said: “She ran a good race, even if she got a bump going into the dip. It probably didn’t cost us the race, but it definitely cost us momentum at an important stage in the race. She really gathered herself up, though, and hopefully has a long and successful season ahead of her, even if today didn’t go 100 per cent to plan.”

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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