Saturday 6th June – 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 had also been 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.
The odds on favourite Pinaturo does not offer any value. The Godolphin owned bay colt was the highest rated Timeform two year old for 25 years, even eclipsing Frankel. Not all outstanding two year olds train on however, and he has less physical scope than some in the field. However, on all known form his rivals will have to have made significant improvement to beat him.
My preference is for a bigger priced winner which can be backed each way. Andrew Balding has made an extremely good start since racing recommenced at Newcastle on Monday. Five of his 14 runners have won for an exceptional winning strike rate of 36 per cent. As equally good is the percentage of his horses who are ‘running to form’ which currently stands at 71%.
He saddles Kameko in the 2,000 Guineas, who as I write this can be backed at a best price of 13/2. He ran four times last season, winning first time out in a Class 4 Maiden at Sandown at the end of July. He ended the season by beating a number of Aiden O’Brien runners in the rearranged Group 1 Futurity Trophy on the all-weather at Newcastle last November. The strongly run mile brought the best out of Kameko and with no question marks over the race distance there is no reason why he should not prove just as good back on the turf.
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