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.
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 Frankie level with Richard Hills on three victories in the race, just behind Kieren Fallon on four. The late Sir Henry Cecil led the way with six victories, but the best current trainer’s record is now held by French trainer Criquette Head-Marrek with four wins. Trial races are run in mid-April, but many contenders head for the 1000 Guineas without a run since the previous autumn.
In 2013, champion jockey Richard Hughes secured his first British Classic when getting up on Sky Lantern well inside the final furlong while in 2014 it was French star Miss France who triumphed, giving Andre Fabre his full set of British Classics.
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 biggest surprise came in 1918, when Ferry won at odds of 50-1. The smallest surprise? Tontine’s victory in 1825 – she was the only runner.
Current leading jockey: Kieren Fallon, 4 wins (1997, 1999, 2003, 2005)
Current leading trainer: Criquette Head-Maarek, 4 wins (1983, 1988, 1992, 2010)