They may have taken place five weeks later than planned and behind closed doors, but the British Classics season got underway over the weekend, with the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket. After horse racing was indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, the season resumed at Newcastle on Monday 1st June and what better way to end the week of the sports’ resumption than with two races that still managed to provide excitement and thrills? Despite racing looking a little differently at the moment, fans and punters alike can at last look forward to checking out all the racing results for today’s meetings, as well as anticipate the remaining three races in the Classics series. Let’s take a look back at the weekend’s action.
10/1 chance Kameko stunned the pre-race favourite Pinatubo, to hand trainer Andrew Balding his first win in the Guineas. It was also a maiden British Classics win for jockey Oisin Murphy, who was last season’s Champion Jockey. The 24-year-old managed a near-perfect race and held on in the final 110 yards to win by a neck, over the Aidan O’Brien-trained Wichita. Not only that, but Murphy rode the colt to the fastest time in Guineas history, 1:34:72, beating the previous record set by Mister Bailey in 1994.
Celebrating his victory, Murphy commented: “This is the stuff of dreams,” before continuing, “When I look back on this race in a few years’ time, I won’t remember there was no crowd. I’ll just remember Kameko gave me my first win in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.”
Kameko is the favourite for the Epsom Derby on July 4th. Run over a distance of 1.5 miles, half a mile longer than the Guineas, it will be a test of the three-year-old’s stamina.
There were no surprises in Sunday’s race with Aidan O’Brien landing a fourth 1,000 Guineas win in five years – proving that Love always wins. It was another Classics win for jockey Ryan Moore, who last won the race in 2016. The 4/1 shot charged through the centre to run clear and win by four-and-a-quarter lengths from Cloak Of Spirits, with the unbeaten favourite and daughter of Frankel, Quadrilateral finishing in third. Having won three of the British Classics last season, O’Brien continues his domination of flat racing – although he was consigned to a second-place finish in Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas.
Celebrating his fourth win in the 1,000 Guineas and a twelfth in the British Classics, Moore said of Love: “We’ve always thought a lot of her. She was in control of this race from a long way out. She won as she liked, really.”
The three-year-old filly was O’Brien’s only entry in the race, and having won that with such ease, the Tipperary-based trainer now has eyes firmly on the Epsom Oaks on July 4th. “We always thought that the Oaks was going to suit her very well and the Guineas was going to be her start-off,” he said after the race. “We always thought she would stay very well but this was a nice starting point for her. The distance to the Oaks should be perfect.”