- When: 3rd, 4th & 5th May 2024
- Where: Rowley Mile Racecourse, Rowley Mile Drive, Newmarket CB8 0TF
- Watch: Major races live on ITV Racing
- Official Website: Newmarket Racecourse
The 1000 and 2000 Guineas are two of the most iconic flat races in the world and are the first of the five British Classics. The two races have many similarities, but they are in the same way both very different. They are both run over 1 mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course and with it are held as Group 1 races. They are also both only open to three-year-old horses.
Where they differ is that the 2000 Guineas is open to colts and fillies whereas the 1000 Guineas is restricted to fillies only. As a result you will generally find that the 2000 is the colts’ race, with the 1000 the fillies’ race.
Both of the names of the races reflect the amount that could be won when they were first raced. One guinea equalled 1 pound and 1 shilling, about £1.05 in today’s money signifying just how lucrative they were back then, never mind today.
As a regular destination for the best three-year-old thoroughbreds around, some huge names feature among the Guineas winners list. Although initially worth twice as much as the fillies only affair, today equality rules supreme with the 2,000 Guineas offering the same half a million pound purse.
The Guineas Festival one of Newmarket’s first big meetings of the season with the 2000 & 1000 Guineas the true stars of the show. The pair of British Classics have been injecting adrenaline into the veins of spectators at the ‘Home of Horseracing’ for over two centuries now and we preview both races along with the other key contests below.
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2000 & 1000 Guineas Festival Betting Tips
Please note: The following tips are for 2023 and will be updated shortly before the event starts.
With the late April meeting at Sandown bringing the curtain down on another National Hunt campaign, the focus on the flat action becomes ever more intense. And nowhere does the early season spotlight shine more brightly than at the headquarters of the flat game, as Newmarket plays host to the three-day Guineas Festival.
The 2023 edition of this excellent event runs from Friday 5th May through to Sunday 7th May, with a total of 22 contests on offer – including an array of quality handicaps, and nine races rated at Listed level or above. Here we take a look at a selection of the standout contests, including, of course, the opening two Classics of the British season.
Jockey Club Stakes
Friday 5th May, 3:35pm
In comparison to the Saturday and Sunday of the fixture, Friday’s card is a relatively low-key affair. That said, the standard of the action is still considerably higher than your average fixture, with the Listed Class duo of the Newmarket Stakes and King Charles II Stakes setting things up nicely ahead of this Group 2 headline act.
Held over the 1m4f trip, and restricted to runners aged four and above, the contest provides an early season target for the more talented middle-distance horses kept in training beyond their classic campaign. Keep an eye out for anything hailing from the locally based trainer Sir Michael Stoute in this one. Stoute has made a flying start to the 2023 season, and with eight wins to his name needs just one more to draw level with the most successful trainer in the history of the race, Alec Taylor, Jr. The best recent record in the race belongs to the yard of Mark Johnston – son Charlie now holds the licence – with the Middleham operation being responsible for five of the past 12 winners.
Saturday 6th May, 3:25pm
The runners tackle 1m1f of the Rowley Mile in one of the major handicaps of the meeting, which provides a competitive highlight in the lead-up to the 2,000 Guineas. This is another contest in which Sir Michael Stoute boasts a solid record, but interestingly the Classic winning trainer doesn’t hold an entry at this stage. Charlie Appleby’s sole entry, King Of Conquest, is amongst those likely to prove popular following his recent win out in Bahrain. Jack Channon’s Majestic is another to catch the eye as the only course and distance winner in the field, and having last been sighted finishing an excellent fourth in the Lincoln – form which is already looking rock solid.
Palace House Stakes
Saturday 6th May, 4:00pm
Speed is the name of the game in the race immediately preceding the big one, as a field of crack sprinters do battle over the minimum trip of five furlongs. William Buick has been the man aboard the winner in the past two years, and one more win for Godolphin’s retained rider would make him the most successful rider in the history of the event. Amongst the trainers, sprint specialists Bryan Smart and Michael Dods are currently in an eleven-way tie for the all-time lead, making anything hailing from either yard well worth a second look. The race has also seen back-to-back winners on two occasions over the past ten years, making Khaadem of interest if returning to defend his crown – particularly if teaming up with William Buick once more.
Qipco 2,000 Guineas
Saturday 6th May, 4:00pm
Aidan O’Brien may have drawn a blank in the past three editions of the opening Classic of the season, but with a record-setting 10 wins in the race, his Ballydoyle operation remains the obvious first port of call when seeking the winner. Those looking to support the Irish Champion Trainer this time around have five impressively bred colts from which to select – spearheaded by Vertem Futurity Trophy winner Auguste Rodin.
O’Brien has never attempted to hide his admiration for this son of Deep Impact, who currently heads the betting at 2/1, and some observers are already suggesting a possible tilt at the elusive Triple Crown. That is some way off, but on form, connections, and pedigree, he looks a worthy favourite.
Whereas Auguste Rodin looks to possess plenty of stamina, stablemate Little Big Bear (11/2) was all about speed in a blistering juvenile campaign, which culminated in a devastating seven-length success in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes. If able to transfer that ability to this longer distance, he rates a major threat to all.
The shortest price of the British runners is the Andrew Balding representative, Chaldean (6/1). Having won the Dewhurst here last season, this son of the mighty Frankel certainly enters the equation on his juvenile form. However, his prep was far from ideal, as he deposited Frankie Dettori into the turf, having covered around half a yard in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
Of those at bigger prices, Karl Burke’s Indestructible (16/1) arrives with a course and distance win to his name, having landed the Craven in grand style last time out, and Godolphin’s Silver Knott also showed a liking for track and trip when landing the Autumns Stakes last season.
Sunday 7th May, 3:00pm
In keeping with the entry criteria for the main event, there is a strong female theme to 1,000 Guineas Day, with all three of the events rated at Listed Class or above being restricted to the fairer sex – the pick of the undercard being this Group 2 contest over the 1m1f trip. Restricted to runners aged four and older, it is the youngest of that age bracket who boast much the best record, with 20 of the 26 editions to date having been landed by a four-year-old.
Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore are the big names to look for here, with the pair boasting six wins in the race apiece – placing them top of the respective trainer and jockey standings.
Qipco 1,000 Guineas Stakes
Sunday 7th May, 3:40pm
Another Newmarket Classic, and another race in which Aidan O’Brien boasts a stellar record, with seven wins between 2005 and 2021. Should he succeed again this year, he will move into a tie for the all-time lead with Robert Robson, and equal a record which has stood for almost 200 years.
Often mob-handed at this stage, it is interesting that O’Brien has just the two entered up this year. Never Ending Story (16/1) seems likely to be a popular each-way option, having taken a big step forward with a Group 3 success on her first start of the season. However, it is Breeders’ Cup heroine, Meditate (4/1) who looks most likely to secure the services of four-time race winner Ryan Moore. Being by No Nay Never, she’s not obviously bred for this trip, but that didn’t stop her from beating the best of the American juvenile fillies over a mile last season, and she will surely be close to favouritism on the day.
Also likely to make the trip over from Ireland is a filly who despatched Meditate in no uncertain terms in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh: Dermot Weld’s Tahiyra (4/1). Despite his many successes around the globe, Weld has never won this race, but this impressive daughter of Siyouni may just represent his best chance yet.
Nell Gwynn winner, Mammas Girl, Fred Darling champ, Remarquee, and Godolphins nicely bred, Dream Of Love are all priced at around the 7/1 mark, and deemed the most likely to keep the prize on home soil. Looking a little further down the list, Ralph Beckett’s Lezoo (16/1) did little wrong in winning four of five at two, including the Cheveley Park Stakes here, whilst Kevin Ryan’s Queen Me (66/1) boasts a lovely pedigree for this test (by Dubawi out of a Frankel Mare) but does need to step up on her juvenile form.
2000 Guineas Entrants (2023)
|Auguste Rodin||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore||13/8||4||3||£203k|
|Little Big Bear||Aidan O’Brien||Wayne Lordan||5/1||5||4||£246k|
|Chaldean||Andrew Balding||Frankie Dettori||15/2||6||4||£470k|
|Royal Scotsman||Paul & Oliver Cole||Jim Crowley||9/1||6||2||£229k|
|Sakheer||Roger Varian||David Egan||9/1||3||2||£56k|
|Noble Style||Charlie Appleby||James Doyle||12/1||3||3||£154k|
|Silver Knott||Charlie Appleby||William Buick||12/1||6||3||£215k|
|Holloway Boy||Karl Burke||Christophe Soumillon||16/1||5||1||£133k|
|Indestructible||Karl Burke||Kevin Stott||25/1||5||2||£112k|
|Charyn||Roger Varian||Tom Marquand||40/1||5||2||£132k|
|Dubai Mile||Charlie Johnston||Daniel Muscutt||40/1||5||3||£155k|
|Galeron||Charles Hills||Kieran Shoemark||66/1||7||2||£550k|
|Flight Plan||Karl Burke||Daniel Tudhope||80/1||3||1||£25k|
|Hi Royal||Kevin Ryan||Oisin Murphy||150/1||3||1||£16k|
1000 Guineas Entrants (2023)
|Tahiyra||Dermot Weld||Chris Hayes||9/4||2||2||£208k|
|Meditate||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore||7/2||7||7||£673k|
|Mammas Girl||Richard Hannon||Kevin Stott||6/1||2||2||£50k|
|Dream Of Love||Charlie Appleby||William Buick||7/1||3||1||£26k|
|Remarquee||Ralph Beckett||Rob Hornby||7/1||2||2||£45k|
|Mawj||Saeed bin Suroor||Oisin Murphy||12/1||7||4||£255k|
|Lezoo||Ralph Beckett||Frankie Dettori||14/1||5||4||£250k|
|Stenton Glider||Hugo Palmer||Tom Marquand||25/1||2||1||£20k|
|Fairy Cross||Charlie Appleby||James Doyle||33/1||6||2||£90k|
|Naomi Lapaglia||Richard Spencer||Kieran Shoemark||33/1||1||1||£4k|
|Powerdress||Richard Hannon||Sean Levey||33/1||2||1||£9k|
|Karsavina||Clive Cox||Rossa Ryan||40/1||2||1||£9k|
|Matilda Picotte||Kieran Cotter||Ronan Whelan||40/1||7||2||£134k|
|Caernarfon||Jack Channon||Connor Beasley||50/1||7||2||£41k|
|Embrace||Owen Burrows||Daniel Muscutt||50/1||3||1||£9k|
|Dance In The Grass||Charlie Johnston||Joe Fanning||66/1||4||2||£30k|
|Olivia Maralda||Roger Varian||David Egan||66/1||6||1||£30k|
|Polly Pot||Ben Pauling||Jim Crowley||66/1||7||4||£109k|
|Queen Me||Kevin Ryan||Mickael Barzalona||66/1||3||1||£66k|
|Sweet Harmony||Richard Spencer||Billy Loughnane||100/1||5||1||£10k|
Friday 3rd May 2024 – Guineas Friday
- 1:15 – Newmarket Stakes (Listed) – 1m 2f
- 1:50 – bet365 Mile (Group 2) – 1m
- 2:25 – King Charles II Stakes (Listed) – 7f
- 3:00 – Nyetimber Open Handicap (Class 2) – 7f
- 3:35 – Jockey Club Stakes (Group 2) – 1m 4f
- 4:10 – British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Class 2) – 5f
- 4:45 – Nyetimber Fillies’ Maiden Stakes (Class 3) – 1m 2f
- 5:20 – Race Horse Lotto Handicap (Class 3) – 1m
Saturday 4th May 2024 – 2000 Guineas Day
- 1:40 – Howden Handicap Stakes (Class 2) – 1m 4f
- 2:15 – Howden Ellen Chaloner Stakes (Listed) – 6f
- 2:50 – Howden Heritage Handicap (Class 2) – 6f
- 3:25 – Howden Suffolk Stakes (Class 2) – 1m 1f
- 4:00 – Howden Palace House Stakes (Group 3) – 5f
- 4:40 – QIPCO 2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) – 1m
- 5:15 – Howden Insurance Handicap (Class 2) – 6f
- 5:50 – Howden Bloodstock Handicap (Class 4) – 7f
Sunday 5th May 2024 – 1000 Guineas Day
- 1:15 – bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes (Group 3) – 1m 2f
- 1:50 – Howden Heritage Handicap (Class 2) – 1m 6f
- 2:25 – Howden Pretty Polly Stakes (Listed) – 1m 2f
- 3:00 – Howden Dahlia Stakes (Group 2) – 1m 1f
- 3:40 – QIPCO 1000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) – 1m
- 4:15 – Howden British EBF Maiden Stakes (Class 3) – 5f
- 4:50 – Howden Handicap (Class 3) – 1m
- 5:25 – Howden Bloodstock Handicap (Class 3) – 1m 2f
All race times and titles are subject to change.
About The 2000 & 1000 Guineas
Both the 2000 Guineas and the 1000 Guineas are two of British horse racings ‘Classics’. There are five of them in total and they take place every year during the flat racing season. If you’re wondering, the Epsom Oaks and the Epsom Derby along with the St. Leger Stakes make up the other three. They are all restricted to three-year-olds and are considered by many to be the pinnacle of flat racing, mainly because it shows how well adept a horse is at handling a race against competitors in its own age range.
The races are pretty simple in that it’s a 1 mile contest over turf. Horses have often qualified for the race by winning or at least having good shows in feeder events such as the Nell Gwyn Stakes and Fred Darling Stakes for the 1000 Guineas, and the Craven Stakes and Greenham Stakes for the 2000 Guineas.
The prize fund for 2023 was set at £500,000 for both races. It is worth noting that prize money has already jumped from £350,000 in 2012 to their current level in 2016, an increase of £150,000 in just four years, highlighting both race’s importance.
No horse has won all five classics due to the fact that the Oaks and 1000 Guineas are restricted to fillies and the two Epsom and Newmarket races are run just a day apart from each other. One achievable feat is winning the Triple Crown or Fillies Triple Crown. This is where the two Guineas make up one leg, the Epsom races another and the St. Leger Stakes being the third. This remains a near impossible task with the three races in each triple crown run at very different distances. As a result, we may not see another triple crown winner.
About the 2000 Guineas
The 2000 Guineas was first raced five years before the 1000, in 1809. The race was open to three -year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. The original races were set up by the Jockey Club, with Sir Charles Banbury leading the charge. It’s worth noting that Banbury had also founded The Derby, run at Epsom racecourse and another of the Classics, so by the time he introduced this one he was already held in high esteem within the racing community.
Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, the race was named after the prize fund available to the participants, with a guinea being worth twenty-one shillings or £1.05. Though it wasn’t initially loved by all in the racing community, it soon began to grasp the imagination and by the middle of the 1860s it was considered to be one of the most prestigious events in flat racing, particularly within that three-year-old age bracket.
In fact, such is the extent to which the race format is so well regarded, there are numerous versions of the 2,000 Guineas held around the world.
Worldwide Versions of the 2000 Guineas
|France||Poule d’Essai des Poulains||Longchamp, Paris||1840|
|Italy||Premio Parioli||Capannelle, Rome||1907|
|Ireland||Irish 2,000 Guineas||Curragh, Newbridge||1921|
|Japan||Satsuki Shō||Nakayama, Funabashi, Chiba||1939|
|Australia||Australian Guineas||Flemington, Melbourne||1986|
The 2000 Guineas has trial races like the Craven Stakes and the Greenham Stakes, but most horses go into it having not raced anywhere else that season. That can make for an extraordinarily exciting race, with the participants opening their legs for the run for the first time in months on a competitive stage. It’s been known for horses that have done well in the 2000 Guineas to go on and win the Derby, as demonstrated by Camelot in 2012.
As mentioned previously. the race is part of the Triple Crown, which includes the Derby and the St Leger. No horse since Nijinsky in 1970 has been able to win the Triple Crown, highlighting just how tough and impressive a feat it is.
Interesting 2000 Guineas Facts
The 2000 Guineas has seen some of the best horses to have ever lived win the race, including the likes of Frankel, Sea The Stars, King Of Kings, Nijinsky and many, many more. The fastest time ever recorded in the race was 1 minute 34.72 seconds recorded by Kameko in 2020, though this race was run in June so quicker ground may have been a factor. Previously the record was the 1 minute 35.08 seconds by Mister Baileys in 1994. Since 1900, the widest winning margin achieved by a horse was the eight lengths that Tudor Minstrel managed in 1947.
Punters will no doubt be interested to know the winning horse which has had the biggest start price. That honour goes to Rockavon, winning as a 66/1 outsider back in 1961. That was the only race of note that the horse won and though he went on to sire a number of minor winners, none of his sires outperformed him. Certainly bettors would’ve been happier to win their wager on him than on the shortest odds horse to win, with St Frusquin coming in at 12/100 in 1896.
The number of horses participating in the race has varied wildly over the years. In both 1829 and 1830, for example, just two horses ran. On hundred years later in 1930, on the other hand, the record for the most horses to compete was set when twenty-eight horses ran.
In terms of personal records, Jem Robinson is the 2000 Guineas Stakes most successful jockey thanks to his nine wins, dating from 1825 to 1848. Obviously, no horse has won it more than once on account of the fact that it’s only open to three-year-olds, but Aidan O’Brien certainly knows how to get the most out of them judging by his ten wins as a trainer. All of those wins came with horses owned in some part by Sue Magnier and she also had Entrepreneur who won in 1997, meaning that she’s the most successful owner in the race with eleven wins.
About the 1000 Guineas
The 1000 Guineas came about some five years after the inaugural 2000 Guineas and was specifically targeted at fillies, again aged three years. The reduced prize money on offer that gives the race its name meant for many years that it wasn’t as prestigious as the 2000. That soon changed however, and today the two races are widely regarded as top class contests in their own right. To highlight this fact further, in 2001 it was decided that both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas would have the same prize money though in 2021, the 1000 Guineas was worth slightly less with a £375k prize fund versus the £400k of the 2000 Guineas.
Part of the reason for this is that the races are practically identical, with both being run on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile over a distance of exactly one mile. The big difference between the two races is the sex of the horses participating in them, with the 1000 open exclusively to fillies and the 2000 for any horse other than geldings. Even the weight of nine stone is the same, though fillies get a three pound allowance when running in the 2000 Guineas.
The 1000 Guineas is also a part of its own Triple Crown, but this one is reserved for just races that include fillies. The other races are that of the Epsom Oaks and St Leger. Many people still consider the 1000 as a feeder race for the Epsom Oaks, such is the esteem in which the latter is held. The last horse that was able to win both the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks was Love in 2020. Such is the difficulty of the feat, it’s rare for horses to even attempt to win the Fillies Triple Crown.
As with the 2000 Guineas, the Group 1 race was the brainchild of Sir Charles Bunbury and came under the jurisdiction of the Jockey Club. The fact that the 1000 Guineas Stakes was restricted to fillies meant that it didn’t take long for it to become one of the most important events for them in the horse racing calendar. Nowadays it is served by trial races in the form of both the Nell Gwyn Stakes and the Fred Darling Stakes.
Much like with its 2000 Guineas alternative, this is often the first race of the entire season for some of the competitors that take part in it. It is also a race which is replicated across the globe.
Worldwide Versions of the 1000 Guineas
|France||Poule d’Essai des Pouliches||Longchamp, Paris||1883|
|Italy||Premio Regina Elena||Capannelle, Rome||1907|
|Germany||German 1,000 Guineas||Düsseldorf||1919|
|Ireland||Irish 1,000 Guineas||Curragh, Newbridge||1922|
|Japan||Oka Sho||Hanshin, Takarazuka, Hyogo||1939|
|Australia||Thousand Guineas||Caulfield, Melbourne||1946|
|New Zealand||New Zealand 1000 Guineas||Riccarton Park, Christchurch||1973|
Interesting 1000 Guineas Facts
The 1000 Guineas has seen just as an impressive array as winners as its older brother, with the likes of Blue Bunting, Cape Verdi, Homecoming Queen and Russian Rhythm being victorious, to name just a few. The fastest time recorded in the race was in 2009, with Ghanaati winning in just 1 minute and 34.22 seconds, half a second faster than the quickest 2000 Guineas time.
The race’s most successful jockey to date is George Forham, who won seven times between 1859 and 1883. The leading owner is the 4th Duke of Grafton who had eight different winners between 1819 and 1827. They were all trained by Robert Robson who was also responsible for the 1818 win of Corinne, making him the most successful trainer in the race’s history.
George Fordham is not only the race’s most successful jockey but also the person who set the record for the widest winning margin. He raced home twenty lengths clear on the back of Mayonaise in 1859. Interestingly, the longest odds winner romped home with the same odds as the longest odds winner of the 2000 Guineas at 66/1. That was Billesdon Brook in 2018, pleasing her backers a lot more than the 1/10 that Crucifix returned in 1840.
As with the 2000 Guineas, it has seen participant numbers fluctuate over the years. The fewest competitors to take part in the 1000 Guineas is just one, with Tontine enjoying a walkover in 1825. In comparison, the most horses to join the race were the twenty-nine who did so in 1926.