About the 2,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas betting
One of the two Classics run over the Rowley Mile at Newmarket in early May, the 2,000 Guineas is traditionally the first really big race for colts in their careers as three-year-olds.
Open to colts and fillies (although in practice limited to colts as female horses tend to be entered in the fillies-only 1,000 Guineas over the same course and distance the following day), the 2,000 Guineas offers a chance to discover the fastest horse over a mile from each Classic generation.
As a betting race, the Craven Stakes (also run at Newmarket) and the Greenham Stakes can throw up pointers, although the race is frequently the first run of the season for many of leading three-year-olds, especially from the larger stables. The betting market can sometimes indicate which horses are expected to have improved on their performances as two-year-olds.
The 2,000 Guineas can then serve to indicate which will be the best middle-distance colts for the other key races of the season. Henrythenavigator went on to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes after winning in 2008, while New Approach, the runner-up in 2008, went on to win the Derby at Epsom.
Together with the Derby and the St Leger, the 2,000 Guineas is part of British horseracing’s Triple Crown. This was last won by Nijinsky in 1970 and may never be again, thanks to the level of specialisation and protection of potential stud fees that now dictates policy at the highest level of horseracing.