The History of the 2000 Guineas

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Ahead of today’s renewal of the 2000 Guineas I have decided to have a quick look at the history of the race including some past winners and some interesting records, facts and figures. So without further ado, lets just jump right in!


The 2000 Guineas Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race which first took place in 1809. It is open to 3 year old thoroughbred colts and fillies, which is ran over 1 mile (1,609 metres) on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. It is one of the Britain’s five ‘Classic’ races and currently it is the first one of the year, being ran in late April/early May each year. It is also the first leg of the Triple Crown, you can read more about that right here: https://zoelouisesmithx.com/2021/04/28/the-history-of-the-english-triple-crown/.

The first running of the 2000 Guineas Stakes took place on April 18th 1809, established by the Jockey Club under the direction of Sir Charles Bunbury, who interestingly had previously co-founded the Espom Derby. The race was named after its original prize, a guinea amounted to roughly £1.05, so 2000 guineas roughly equalled £2,100.


Now, lets have a look at some previous winners, starting with the first winner back in 1809, Wizard who was rode by Bill Clift, trained by Tom Perren and owned by Christopher Wilson. I then want to skip forward a few years to 1814, this was the first of three wins in a row for jockey Bill Arnull and trainer Dixon Boyce when Olive won, in 1815 the pair won again with Tigris, then winning again for a thirs time in 1816 with Nectar.

This repeated itself a few years later, starting in 1820 when jockey Frank Buckle, trainer Robert Robson and owner 4th Duke of Grafton won with Pindarrie, the trio then won again in 1821 with Reginald and again in 1822 with Pastille – who interestingly was the first filly to win the race.

Let’s jump forward quite a few years now to 1900 where Diamond Jubilee won the race (who also went on to win the Triple Crown) who was trained by Richard Marsh, with Herbert Jones riding for the owner the Prince of Wales at the time Edward VII who went on to be the King the following year in 1901. He then won again when he was King in 1909 just a year before his death in 1910. This time he won the race with Minoru who was rode by Herbert Jones and trained by Richard Marsh again.

The next one I want to look at is in 1942 when Big Game won for jockey Gordon Richards and trainer Fred Darling and the King at the time King George VI who is Queen Elizabeth II (the current Queen)’s father.

In here I want to quickly mention the 1956 winner Gilles de Retz who won for jockey Frank Barlow and owner Anthony Samuel. This is very interesting as the trainer was a lady called Helen Johnson Houghton who was the first female trainer to train a Classic winner, however her name does not appear in the official records, instead it is replaced by the name Charles Jerdein because at the time the Jockey Club would not allow women to hold a trainers’ license.

We then jump forward to 1968 when Lester Piggott won on Sir Ivor for Vincent O’Brien and owner Raymond Guest, he then went on to win again in 1970, this time on Nijinsky, again for Vincent O’Brien and owner Charles Engelhard. Nijinsky went on to be the last ever Triple Crown winner to date. A few years later in 1976 Frankie Dettori’s father Gianfranco Dettori won on Bolkonski for Henry Cecil and owner Carlo d’Alessio, before winning again the next year in 1977 for the same trainer and owner, this time on Wollow. 20 years later in 1996 Frankie then won the race on Mark of Esteem for Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin.

In 1997 Michael Kinane won the race on Entrepreneur for Michael Stoute and owners Tabor / Magnier then winning again in 1998 this time on board King of Kings for Aidan O’Brien and the same owners.

The following year in 1999, Frankie Dettori would win again this time on Island Sands for Saeed bin Suroor and owners Godolphin, however this renewal of the race took place on Newmarket’s July course.

Other notable winners we have is Rock of Gibraltar winning in 2002 for jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer Aidan O’Brien and owners Ferguson / Magnier, Pat Smullen winning the race in 2003 on board Refuse to Bend for trainer Dermot Weld and owners Moyglare Stud Farm.

We then have Footstepsinthesand winning in 2005 for jockey Kieran Fallon, trainer Aidan O’Brien and owners Tabor / Magnier with them following it up in 2006 with George Washington this time for Magnier / Tabor / Smith.

We also have Frankel who won in 2011 for jockey Tom Queally, trainer Henry Cecil and owner Khalid Abdullah, followed up by Camelot in 2012 for jockey Joseph O’Brien, trainer Aidan O’Brien and owners Smith / Magnier / Tabor. There’s also Gleneagles in 2015 for jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien and owners Smith / Magnier / Tabor. With Galileo Gold winning in 2016 for Frankie Dettori, Hugo Palmer and Al Shaqab Racing.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019 trainer Aidan O’Brien and owners Smith / Magnier / Tabor were successful, firstly with Churchill in 2017 rode by Ryan Moore, then Saxon Warrior in 2018 rode by Donnacha O’Brien followed up by Magna Grecia in 2019 also rode by Donnacha O’Brien.

The latest winner was Kameko who won the race in 2020 when it was actually ran slightly later into the year in June due to the Coronavirus pandemic. He was rode by Oisin Murphy for Andrew Balding and Qatar Racing.


Now let’s have a look at some records over the years.

Starting with the leading jockey with a massive 9 victories in this race, we have Jem Robinson. His first victory came in 1825 with Enamel, with Cadland in 1828, Riddlesworth in 1831, Clearwell in 1833, Glencoe in 1834, Ibrahim in 1835, Bay Middleton in 1836, Conyngham in 1847 and finally Flatcatcher in 1848.

In more recent times with 5 wins we have Kieren Fallon who won with King’s Best in 2000, Golan in 2001, Footstepsinthesand in 2005, George Washington in 2006 and Night Of Thunder in 2014.

Let’s now have a look at the leading trainer, the name I think all racing fans know very very well within the flat racing world and that is of course Aidan O’Brien who has a huge 10 wins in this race. King of Kings in 1998 starting his run of winners, followed up by Rock of Gibraltar in 2002, Footstepsinthesand in 2005, George Washington in 2006, Henrythenavigator in 2008, Camelot in 2012, Gleneagles in 2015, Churchill in 2017, Saxon Warrior in 2018 and finally Magna Grecia in 2019.

So now, the leading owner, (this includes part ownership) and that goes to an 11 time winner Sue Magnier who has won with Entrepreneur in 1997, King of Kings in 1998, Rock of Gibraltar in 2002, Footstepsinthesand in 2005, George Washington in 2006, Henrythenavigator in 2008, Camelot in 2012, Gleneagles in 2015, Churchill in 2017, Saxon Warrior in 2018 and finally Magna Grecia in 2019.


Now onto some interesting facts to note:

The fastest winning time was 1 minute 34.72 seconds achieved by the latest winner Kameko in 2020.

The widest winning margin (since 1900) is Tudor Minstrel in 1947 who won by 8 lengths.

The biggest priced winner was Rockavon in 1961 at 66/1.

The shortest priced winner was St Frusquin in 1896 at 12/100

The biggest field was in 1930 when 28 horses ran.

The smallest field was in 1829 and 1830 when each time only 2 horses ran.

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So there we have it, some interesting facts, figures and records in the race. Today’s renewal should be exciting as it always is and I, for one, am quite looking forward to it. I hope you enjoyed this post and I will hopefully see you all tomorrow for an extra post where I look at the history of the 1000 Guineas ahead of tomorrow’s renewal!

Thank you for reading!

An Interview with Liam Keniry

Liam Keniry

Hiya guys!

Today I bring to you an interview with Liam Keniry. I hope you enjoy!

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Me: What is your favourite race of your career, win or lose?

Liam: Favourite race, win or lose, would probably be the Cambridgeshire 2004 on a horse called Spanish Don who came along very early in my career, I was still an apprentice and won a couple stakes on him and obviously winning that Cambridgeshire at the time as an apprentice was very good. 

Me: If you could ride any horse that you never have, past or present, what horse would you choose?

Liam: Favourite horse I’ve never ridden would be Sea The Stars; what he did in his classic season was just brilliant. He had everything. Won the Guineas, the Derby and all them other races he did, it was probably just… yeah just amazing what he did that season.

Me: What are your opinions surrounding the discussions of banning the whip?

Liam: The whip… I think the BHA have the whip rules absolutely spot on and if the whip was every banned it would be a backwards step for racing, I believe. 

Me: As a jockey, weight is obviously a huge thing for you guys, so what would you eat on a regular day? Are there any periods across the year where you can actually just eat everything and anything or is it a strict kind of diet all year round?

Liam: As you get older it becomes easier to manage your weight. I would always have a little bit of breakfast no matter what weight I have that day. Something small to eat in the evenings and just plenty of exercise. Yeah, your weight is easier to manage when you’re quite busy doing  two meetings a day and stuff, so it’s not really an issue.

Me: What would you say to anyone who thinks racing is animal cruelty?

Liam: I think people who think racing is animal cruelty are probably people who have never been to a racing stables and haven’t seen how well these horses are looked after and cared for and how prepared they are when they go to racing. The majority of the time the horses are so prepared that they probably find it quite easy and I imagine most of them quite enjoy it.

Me: Racing is an all year round sport, so when you do get some down time, what do you like to do?

Liam: Yeah, it’s good to be busy. I prefer it that way, the busier you are, the fitter you are and I think the easier it is to keep your eye on the ball. If the racing gives time off it can be quite nice to go on holiday with the wife for a couple of days just to get away for a couple days. But in general it’s better to be busy.

Me: Who do you look up to in the weighing room?

Liam: I always looked up to Kieren Fallon when he was riding. He was just a genius in the saddle and he was Champion Jockey a many times. Especially in the big races, Fallon was as good as there was in his time riding I think.

Me: What is one race you’d love to win?

Liam: Any Group 1 race would be great. Yeah, any Group 1 race would be brilliant.

Me: What is your overall goal in racing over the upcoming few years?

Liam: I am very close to riding 1000 winners now, I think about 30 away from that so hopefully if we get back racing soon, if I can do that by the end of this year it would be good and just to continue to ride winners every year after that, that would be good.

Me: What would be your ‘horse to watch’ for the next season or two?

Liam: A horse looking forward to this season would probably be a horse called Indeed who is trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis. He did quite well last year and hopefully he should have a good year this year. We’d like to think he definitely up to winning in a listed class and hopefully there are a couple of big races in him yet.

Me: What is your favourite race course to ride at and why?

Liam: It would probably be Newbury. I am primarily based in Lambourn so Newbury would probably be my local track to there and I think it’s a big galloping track and quite fair, so yeah, it’s a good track Newbury, it’s a fair track and a good track and it’s always nice to ride a winner there. 

Me: What is your best advice for young people who have a passion they want to follow, whether that be racing or something else?

Liam: I think… always follow your dreams. Work hard. Working hard will always help you in life no matter what job you do.

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Firstly I want to thank Liam for his time, he gave some brilliant answers. Hopefully he reaches 1000 winners this year, I will definitely be following his progress as he becomes closer to that goal!

Thank you for reading.