Gear Up for the Guineas
Over the past months, Flat racing aficionados have been hibernating away, avoiding the cold of those long winter nights, waiting in anticipation for this weekend when all eyes of the horseracing world will turn to Newmarket, “Racing HQ”, for the QIPCO Guineas Weekend.
The QIPCO 2000 Guineas
The first of the two great races held this weekend, the 2000 Guineas, is run on Saturday over a mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse and is open to three-year-old colts and fillies, though fillies rarely run in the race. The contest was first run in 1809, and is the first of five British Classics run over the course of the Flat season. It is also the opening race of the QIPCO British Champions Series which showcases the top 35 races of the British Flat racing calendar.
In previous years, this prestigious race has produced some unforgettable displays, most notably when the Sir Henry Cecil-trained superstar Frankel led from start to finish twelve months ago to win in breath-taking fashion by six lengths.
This year, the horse all form books are pointing to is Camelot, trained by Aidan O’Brien, who has already won the race five times. This classy colt displayed a huge amount of talent to win the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster at the end of last season. Other hopefuls in the race include Born To Sea, a half-brother to multiple Group 1-winning champion Sea the Stars who won this race back in 2009. Trumpet Major, from the consistently strong Richard Hannon yard, produced an exciting display to win the Craven Stakes, ran over the same course and distance as the 2000 Guineas, is also well fancied for Saturday.
The QIPCO 1000 Guineas
The 1000 Guineas, restricted to three-year-old fillies only, is ran over the same course and distance as the 2000 Guineas, and is held on Sunday. The race was first run in 1814, just five years after the inaugural 2000 Guineas. The race also sits as the first race in the Fillies and Mares category of QIPCO British Champions Series.
This year’s race looks to be a fairly open affair with Maybe, also trained by Aidan O’Brien, heading up the betting on what should be a fantastic race. The two Godolphin entries Lyric olf Light and Discourse are both going into this race with high hopes. The race sponsor Sheikh Fahad, under the banner of QIPCO, will also have a runner in the form of Lightening Pearl, who won the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket at the end of last season.
Although there is no certainty who will win these celebrated races, one thing is for sure, we are in for a fantastic weekend of racing!
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