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The QIPCO 2000 Guineas Stakes

- Newmarket

MI
Galileo Gold
  • Distance 1m
  • Class 1
  • Group 1
  • Prize money £TBC
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History

The first race in the QIPCO British Champions Series and the curtain-raising Classic of the British Flat season, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas is open to three-year-old colts and fillies. It’s run on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, over one mile (1,600 metres) in late April or early May.

Although they only have to carry 8st 11lbs (56kgs) compared with the 9st (57kgs) on a colt’s back, fillies very rarely contest the QIPCO 2000 Guineas nowadays. They almost invariably stick to their own equivalent event, the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, in which they don’t have to take on their male counterparts.  The last filly to triumph was Garden Path in 1944.

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 well before half way and passed the post six lengths clear of his nearest rival.  It was jockey Tom Queally’s first Classic winner and trainer Henry Cecil’s 25th.

Trial races are staged in mid-April but many contenders head for the 2000 Guineas without a warm-up run, their trainers relying on getting them fit enough and sharp enough on the training gallops. The 2000 Guineas was first run in 1809. The biggest outsider? Rockavon, at 66-1 in 1961.

Current leading jockey: Kieren Fallon, 5 wins (2000-1, 2005-6, 2014)
Current leading trainer: Aidan O’Brien, 7 wins (1998, 2002, 2005-6, 2008, 2012, 2015)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

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

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2016

Hugo Palmer hailed the brilliance of Frankie Dettori after the world’s most charismatic jockey had guided Galileo Gold to a stunning victory in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket .

Always prominent, Dettori initially raced in the centre of the track from an awkward draw in stall 1 before gradually bringing Galileo Gold over to the stands’ rail.

The combination, sent off at 14-1, took the opposition out of their comfort zones with a decisive kick about two furlongs from home and Galileo Gold kept on strongly to beat Massaat by a length and a half, with Ribchester another two lengths further back in third.

Air Vice Marshal was fourth and the unconsidered Kentuckyconnection, a 100-1 chance, fifth. Despite the ground being on the easy side of good, the winning time was less than  a second outside standard.

“It was a masterful ride by one of the world’s best jockeys on a wonderful horse,” Palmer said after saddling his first British Classic winner. “Anyone who listened to me talk about this animal for last three weeks will have got a sense of belief that has been building in the yard about him.

“Not only my belief in the horse, but the horse’s belief in himself. I’ve heard Aidan [O’Brien] talk about arrogant horses before – like Muhammed Ali saying ‘I am the greatest’. A good horse believes that.”

The build-up to the first race in the QIPCO British Champions Series had revolved around Air Force Blue, the triple Group 1 winner who had been crowned Europe’s champion two-year-old of last season.

However, the 4-5 favourite never threatened to get involved and beat only one home.

Indeed the first three in the betting – the other pair were Storm Antarctic and Marcel – filled the last three places.

Instead it was Dettori, for the umpteenth time in his decorated career, who stole the show.

“Every time we win a nice race I wake up the next morning and the first thing I do is check the Racing Post to make sure it happened,” Palmer said. “I’ll be doing that tomorrow and dreading this has been a dream.”

It was only five years ago that Palmer began training and up until 12 months ago Galileo Gold, a 33,000 euro purchase, still belonged to him.

He now carries the colours of Al Shaqab Racing, who purchased him shortly before he won at Goodwood last summer. Suffice to say, he is now worth considerably more.

And Dettori? He remains priceless.

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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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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