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 Eoin Walsh

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com. I hope you all had a brilliant final day of Cheltenham yesterday! Today I am super excited to bring to you an interview with Eoin Walsh. He has recently returned from a pretty serious injury, so I caught up with him about all things racing, including his recovery and the importance of the Injured Jockeys Fund. Let’s jump right into it!


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

Eoin: My favourite race would have to be when I won on Zeeband at Thirsk for Roger Varian. It wasn’t the biggest race in the world, but I rode him out every morning since I started at Roger’s and he wasn’t the most straight forward in the mornings, he’s quite a difficult ride. To actually get on him and to get a win on him was fantastic and it meant a lot to me.

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

Eoin: I think I’d have to go for a horse from the past. I think I’d pick Frankel. The way he won the Guineas was phenomenal and every other race he won was breath-taking. He was just a freak. I’d have loved to have had a go on him.

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

Eoin: My opinion on banning the whip is absolutely ridiculous. The whip is out there as a corrective measure and an encouragement method. It’s not there to harm or hurt the horse. All of us in racing love our animals, there’s nobody who’s out there to hurt the horse. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

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?

Eoin: For me, I struggle with my weight quite a lot. I’m one of the heavier, taller jockeys in the weighing room. A typical day for me in the summer whilst I’m racing would probably be have a coffee in the morning, a coffee at lunch time and if I’m lucky, get home and have some dinner. Other than that, I wouldn’t eat a lot. In my off time, I tend to let myself go and enjoy myself but I do have to pay the price for it when I come back.

Me: So you’ve recently came back from quite a bad injury, how hard is it to return to the sport that put you into that position?

Eoin: I’ve never really thought about retiring from this injury. It’s more of a case of wanting to, I’ve got a good job at Roger Varian’s so I just felt the quicker I got back, the quicker I got going again. We’re coming into the flat season so I didn’t want to be joining the string half way through the season when all the jockey’s key positions were already filled. I wanted to get back before the turf so I could get fit and I’ll be available when wanted for the flat season.

Me: On from that, horse racing is one of the very few sports to have a charity who do the work the Injured Jockey’s Fund do, how important are they to jockeys and the sport as a whole?

Eoin: The Injured Jockey’s Fund are absolutely phenomenal. They are a great bunch of people and a massive help to all of us jockeys and we could not thank them enough.

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

Eoin: With the world hopefully returning to normal fairly soon, I hope that in a down time I’d be able to travel to Thailand with friends, Callum Shepherd, Kieran O’Neill and Stefano. We like to get away for a couple of weeks, let our hair down and make the most of our time off.

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

Eoin: I would probably look up to the likes of Adam Kirby and James Doyle the most. They’d be my two favourites, they’re very good jockeys, very good horsemen and two nice people.

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

Eoin: When it comes to a race I’d love to win, I’m not going to be fussy. I’ll take any race, I’m just happy when I’m crossing the line in front. There’s no particular race I’d want to win at this stage. Just every winner matters to me, so yeah, any winner, any horse I can ride that wins.

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

Eoin: My overall goal the next couple of years would be to establish myself as one of the main riders for one of the big yards in town. I’d love to hope it’ll be Roger Varian’s but I’ll hopefully get my opportunity somewhere.

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

Eoin: I’d once again have to go for my old favourite Zeeband as a horse to follow. I think he’s gonna be a very, very nice four year old this year. I thought, personally, anything he did last year would be a bonus towards this year. I think he’s rated near the 90’s now and I think he’ll improve further. I think he could be a class act this season over the longer distances.

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

Eoin: I love riding at either of the Newmarket Racecourses. Mainly because I don’t have to travel far but because they’re just such prestigious courses and riding a winner there last season was absolutely amazing even though there was no crowd.

Me: With the Grand National coming up and it being announced Tiger Roll won’t run, do you fancy anything at the moment?

Eoin: I really hope Bristol De Mai wins the Grand National. It would be lovely for Nigel Twiston-Davies. He’s a very good trainer and I just love the horse as well, he’s just an absolute legend of the game.

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

Eoin: I can only answer for kids coming into racing, but my one bit of advice is just keep your head down, ask as many questions as you can, learn as much as you can from the older lads that have been around and just keep yourself to yourself and try and stay out of trouble. Coming into racing is very difficult for anyone, it’s not easy leaving home but you just need to get yourself around a good group of people and hopefully you can bring yourself forward.


I want to thank Eoin for his time to answer some questions, I know how busy he is now he’s returning to the saddle so I appreciate his time. For me, I think it’s incredible how strong jockeys are, mentally and physically. If I had been hit with an injury as severe as Eoin’s, I don’t know if I could come back and have the mindset that Eoin has but also other jockeys have too. I think it’s a testament to their strength when jockeys can come back and normally they’re better and stronger than ever when they do so.

I have had a busy two weeks on my website with 9 posts in 12 days and I have absolutely loved it, I hope you’ve all enjoyed the past 2 weeks posts and I will see you all on Wednesday evening at 6pm for my next one!