Saturday 4th May, 3:35pm Newmarket – 1m (Row) QIPCO 2,000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Colts & Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo)
The 2,000 Guineas Stakes was first run in 1809. The race was established by the Jockey Club under Sir Charles Bunbury who was also responsible for co-founding The Derby at Epsom. The race was named after the original prize fund with 2,000 guineas in 1809 being worth £118,590 today. Considering the connections of the winner of this year’s renewal will receive £297,019, the race has more than kept up with inflation.
There are some fairly solid statistics around to help whittle down the field to manageable proportions. All of the winners of the last 13 renewals finished in the first three on their previous outing, with nine of the 13 winning on their previous run. Eleven of the last 13 winners had previously won over 7 furlongs.
Some experience is a prerequisite for recent winners of the event as 12 of the last 13 winners had previously run at least twice, while 11 out of the 13 had run on three occasions or more. Course form is not overly important as only five of the last 13 had run over the course previously. The same remark can be made about winning over 1 mile as only five of the last 13 had run over the distance, with four of the five boasting wins over the distance.
A good Official Rating comes into the equation with a rating of 110 or higher being required to win the race nine times in the last 13 renewals. Previous Group winning form also needs to be noted as 11 of the last 13 winners had won at Group 1, 2 or 3 previously.
Aidan O’Brien runners require more than careful consideration as he has saddled the winner on no fewer than nine occasions, more than any other trainer in the history of the race. Six of his nine wins have been achieved in the last 13 renewals.
Finally, the 2,000 Guineas has been a punter friendly event recently with nine out of the last 13 winners being in the top three in the betting.
Of the two O’Brien runners in this year’s renewal Ten Sovereigns has a perfect record of three wins from three runs and boasts Group 1 winning form winning the Juddmont Middle Park Stakes over 6 furlongs and is the chosen ride for Ryan Moore. However, he has never been tried over a distance further than 6 furlongs and although his pedigree strongly suggests that he will get the trip he has yet to prove it. He has previously won in Good to Firm ground.
The other O’Brien runner Magna Grecia has also won at Group 1 level when finishing first in the Vertum Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster in October, which was over the same 1 mile trip as the 2,000 Guineas. He was placed in Good to Firm ground when finishing second by a neck in a Group 3 event at Newmarket in October.
Of the rest of the field the lightly raced Skardu makes some appeal by winning the Group 3 Craven Stakes over course and distance in April in similar ground. Although only winning by a neck he held on well towards the finish and with James Doyle in the saddle again could be a value bet against the O’Brien pair.
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