Inaugurated on 18th April 1809, The 2000 Guineas is a Group one flat racing event that takes place in late April or early May each year, just prior to the 1000 Guineas. The 1000 Guineas is for three year old fillies, whereas this, the 2000 Guineas race is for both colts and fillies.The race is over a straight 1 mile at Rowley Mile, Newmarket and the purse for the event is some £500,000, with £283,550 going to the winner in 2018.
The race is one of the five Classics, a group of prestigious races from the 18th and 19th century that have come to represent the pinnacle of flat racing achievement. Winners of one or more of the Classics (1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks, Epsom Derby, St Leger Stakes) are a rarity, hence doing so really does catapult a horse into the history books. No horse has ever won all five of the British Classic Races, the closest is Formosa in 1868 and Sceptre in 1902.
An arguably more doable version of the above achievement is the Triple Crown which consists of the 2,000 Guineas, the Derby and the St Leger. The 2000 Guineas is sometimes seen as a trial for the Derby with Camelot ‘doing the double’ in 2012. In the same way the Greenham Stales and Craven Stakes can act as a trial for the 2000 Guineas.
It took perhaps 50 years for the 2000 Guineas to be held in as high regard as it still is to this day, and its stellar reputation has led to versions of the race popping up around the world, from Europe to Australia: the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains , the Australian Guineas , Satsuki Shō and more besides.
Leading jockey at the 2000 Guineas is Jem Robinson with 9 wins, leading trainer Aidan O’Brien also with 9 wins and owner Sue Magnier whas 10 wins. The O’Brien Magnier pairing has proved very successful in the race in recent years with these recent wins: King of Kings (1998), Rock of Gibraltar (2002), Footstepsinthesand (2005), George Washington (2006), Henrythenavigator (2008), Camelot (2012), Gleneagles (2015), Churchill (2017), Saxon Warrior (2018) . Saxon Warrior was the 3-1 winner in 2018 just ahead of 50-1 shot Tip Two Win.