The 2000 guineas Stakes is a group one flat race ran over a distance of one mile and is open to both fillies and colts aged three years. The race takes place at the home of flat racing, Newmarket, over the Rowley Mile course in late April or early May.
The race is one of the five English classics to take place and the first one of the year at present. It is also the first leg of the triple crown, the other two races in this include St Leger and the Derby. The Craven Stakes and Greenham Stakes are two races that serve as trials for the 2000 Guineas Stakes and are good indicators of possible winners, although quite a few of the horses taking part in this classic will be having their first outing of the season.
The 2000 Guineas Stakes sometimes acts as a trial for the Derby, with the last horse to win the double being Camelot in 2012. The most famous horse by far to achieve the double though has to be Nijinsky, who achieved the coveted crown in 1970. Prize money for the English classic stands at £523,750 in 2019.
Most Successful Horse
Although the race can only ever be won once with the race being restricted to three-year-olds, many horses have stood out over the years. Sir Ivor is a name that will stir the memories for the older racegoer and a name all racing historians will know.
The American horse traveled to England and made his three-year-old debut in the 2000 Guineas. Ridden by Lester Piggot, the 11/8 favorite accelerated past his main rival Petingo in the closing stages, running out the eventual winner by one and a half lengths. The double was achieved when Sir Ivor took the honors at Epson, winning the Derby a couple of months later. Sir Ivor was put to stud after his three-year-old season was over.
Considered to be the greatest flat racehorse of the 20th century, Nijinsky needs little introduction. Unbeaten in his two-year-old career winning all of his five races. He earned his prep race for the 2000 Guineas Stakes, by beating Deep Run in the Gladness Stakes at the Curragh. Under the guidance of Lester Piggot, Nijinsky went off the 4/7 in the Guineas. Two furlongs out, Nijinsky took the lead, and without being put under any pressure pulled clear and won by two and a half lengths from Yellow God.
Nijinsky then went on to win both the Derby and St Leger. The first horse to complete the English triple crown for thirty-five years, and a fete no other horse has achieved since.
We have to go back to the eighteen hundreds to find the most successful jockey of all time in the 2000 Guineas Stakes. James Robinson won the race an unprecedented nine times between 1825-1848, the first on Enamel in 1825. Others include Cadland in 1828, Riddlesworth 1831, Clearwell 1833, Glencoe 1834, Ibrahim 1835, Bay Middleton 1836, Conyngham 1847, and Flatcatcher 1848.
Legendary jockey Lester Piggot took his place in the winners’ enclosure on five occasions. His first win is coming in 1957 on Capello. Wins followed this on Sir Ivor in 1968, Nijinsky two years later, Shadeed in 1985, and his final 2000 Guineas win was on Rodrigo de Triano in 1992.
Kieron Fallon’s five victories between 2000- 2014 put him up there alongside Lester Piggot. Wins on Kings Best in 2000, Golan the following year, twice a winner between 2005-2006 on Footstepsinthesand and George Washington, respectively, and Knight of Thunder in 2014.
Irish trainer Aiden O’Brien has had an impressive ten wins in the race, including the 2019 winner Magna Grecia. Before that, there was King of Kings in 1998, Rock of Gilbrator in 2002, followed by two consecutive wins in 2005 and 2006 with Footstepsinthesand and George Washington.
The next win came two years later with Henrythenavigator, followed by Camelot in 2012, Gleneagles 2015, and another double whammy in 2017-2018 with Churchill and Saxon Warrior, which means the award-winning trainer has won the last three 2000 Guineas stakes up to 2019.