The 1000 Guineas Stakes is a Group 1 flat race ran over the distance of one mile for three-year-old fillies.
Entry to this race is restricted to fillies aged three years. The event, much like its near-namesake the 2000 Guineas Stakes, is held at Newmarket Racecourse over the Rowley Mile. The race takes place every spring, typically the day after the aforementioned 2000 Guineas. Ordinarily, the race is run during the final week of April or, more often, early May.
The Newmarket Guineas racing events mark the beginning of the celebrated five English Classics, this race is the second of these landmark occasions – the 2000 Guineas obviously being the first.
Ambitious jockeys and trainers treat this event as the first race of the Fillies Triple Crown. The 1000 Guineas is followed by the Oaks and St. Leger. However, these three races are rarely attempted together.
The race has a long and eventful history, having first been run in 1814. Despite the disruption caused to racing by COVID-19, the race took place in 2020, albeit delayed to June. Ryan Moore rode Love to victory in a time of 1:35:80. The 1000 Guineas 2019, meanwhile, was won by Hermosa – ridden by Wayne Lordan. This is worthy of notice, as both horses – as well as many other winners – were trained by Aidan O’Brien.
Key Trials for the 1000 Guineas Stakes
To pick a winner for this event, review high-performing fillies from the previous two-year old season. Some horses will be making their season debut in this race, but many will carry forward previous experience from the new season.
Also, take a look at time performances in the Fred Darling Stakes (held at Newbury) and the Nell Gwyn Stakes (part of the Newmarket Craven Meeting). It has been some years since a horse one of these events and a 1000 Guineas. Back in the 1990s, however, four of ten Fred Darling Stakes winners went on to claim victory in this event.
The race also acts as a trial itself for the aforementioned Oaks, which is also a group 1 event. Love completed a double this year, following her victory in this race by also crossing the post first in the Oaks at Epsom and Yorkshire. The runner up of the 2000 event was Cloak Of Spirits.
Most Successful Horse
The record time for completing the race is 1:34:22, achieved by Ghanaati (ridden by Richard Hills and trained by his father Barry) in 2009. Back in 2018, Billesdon Brook drastically upset the bookmakers and form by taking the victory. This filly was priced at an eye-watering 66/1 against before leaving the paddock. She went on to repeat this feat at the Sun Chariot Stakes twelve months later.
We have to travel back to 1940 to find the opposite to this. In this year, Crucifix lived up to her 1/10 odds-on betting by romping home to victory. Mayonnaise achieved the greatest margin of victory in 1859, winning by an impressive twenty lengths.
Hermosa, the 2019 winner, went on to achieve further success. She followed her win at Newmarket with a comfortable victory in the Irish equivalent of this very same event. Unfortunately, Hermosa’s quest for a hat-trick went unfulfilled. She failed to capture further wins in the Coronation, Nassau or Matron Stakes, despite frequently starting as a favourite.
Love, the current champion of the race, looks set to use this event as a springboard for future success. Later in 2020, Love lived up to her status as favourite by winning the Oaks at Epsom and Yorkshire.
Previous 1000 Guineas Winners (Last 10 Years)
- 2020 – Love
- 2019 – Hermosa
- 2018 – Billesdon Brook
- 2017 – Winter
- 2016 – Minding
- 2015 – Legatissimo
- 2014 – Miss France
- 2013 – Sky Lantern
- 2012 – Homecoming Queen
- 2011 – Blue Bunting
- 2010 – Special Duty
Leading 1000 Guineas Jockey
In recent years, Ryan Moore has dominated this event. This jockey has placed first on four occasions, including twice in the last five years (2016 and 2020). Ryan Moore also won the race in 2012 and 2015.
Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori also enjoys an illustrious history, winning in 1998, 2002 and 2011. Rounding out the group of notable riders are racing stalwarts are 19th Century icons Frankie Buckle and George Fordham.
Buckle placed first six times. This included a four-year winning streak between 1820 and 1823. Buckle also won in 1827 and 1818, ensuring he was just one shy of an uninterrupted five years of dominance. Fordham, meanwhile, achieved success seven times between 1859 and 1883.
Aidan O’Brien is the undisputed leading trainer of Guineas Newmarket racing, with six victories since 2005. O’Brien has trained four of the last five winners of the race, with Richard Hannon Jr interrupting his streak in 2018 by coaching Billesdon Brook and Sean Levey to victory.
Robert Robson was the leading trainer of the 19th Century, training nine winners in ten years between 1818 and 1827. Robson formed a formidable partnership with the aforementioned Frankie Buckle. In more recent times, O’Brien is rivalled by Noel Murless (six winning horses between 1948 and 1973) and Henry Cecil (six victories over two decades, starting in 1979 and concluding in 1999).
Why is It Called 1000 Guineas?
In the early days of horse racing, events were named after their prize money. This race is no exception. The monicker of the event relates to the purse that the winners could expect to take home.
What is 1000 Guineas in Pounds?
In modern money, a guinea equates to £1.05. This translates as £1,050 in 2020.
Summary of the 1000 Guineas Stakes
Anybody with a passion for British racing should take themselves to the Rowley Mile in May. The 1000 Guineas is a landmark event in the British racing calendar, the first major test for the top three-year-old fillies. Just be sure to plan your trip to Newmarket in plenty of time. As this event is so popular, hotels and travel tickets can become increasingly rare as spring arrives.