A Complete Guide to the 2000 Guineas Stakes

The 2,000 Guineas, open to both colts and fillies, is run at Newmarket Racecourse in late April or early May. It is one of the five English Classic Races that, together with the Epsom Derby and St Leger Stakes, forms the Triple Crown. The 2,000 Guineas is the first English Classic race of the year.

The very first winner was Wizard ridden by William Clift in 1809. Since then, the 2,000 Guineas has been won by some of the most famous horses in British racing history, including Royal Palace (1967), Nijinsky (1970), Brigadier Gerard (1971), Dancing Brave (1986), Nashwan (1989), Rock of Gibraltar (2002), Sea the Stars (2009), and Frankel (2011).

A Closer Look at the
2000 Guineas

Qualifying Group 1 colts and fillies that are 3 years of age are permitted to compete in the 2000 Guineas. A weight requirement of 9-0 stones (126 pounds) for colts or 8-0 stones, 9 pounds (121 pounds) for fillies is standard for this 1-mile race on the Rowley Mile track. The track itself spans just over 2 miles long, however, the race is run over a straight, flat portion only.

The most recent winner in May 2017 was Churchill ridden by Ryan Moore and trained by Aidan O'Brien. The winning time was 1 minute and 36.61 seconds. The top prize was £283,550. This race was the eighth victory for both trainer O'Brien and owner Sue Magnier making each the new record holder for most wins as trainer and owner respectively.

fact file

location: Rowley Mile Course, New Market, Suffolk

grade: Colts and Fillies Group 1

race type: Flat

Making History on the Track

The first ever 2000 Guineas race was run in the year 1809 and named for the potential prize originally offered of '2000 Guineas.' The race quickly became known as the most prestigious event for three-year-old thoroughbreds in the world. Although many other countries have adopted their own versions of the race, the 2,000 Guineas still retains a special spot on the international racing calendar.

Over the years, the purse has increased to as much as £500,000 in 2016 and 2017.


Since the first race run over 200 years ago, countless records have been made and broken. Here are a few of the top 2000 Guineas records (as of 2017) .

  • The most successful trainer in 2,000 Guineas history is Aidan O'Brien who recently broke John Scott's record seven wins with an eighth victory in May, 2017.

  • Fastest record time to date is 1:35.08 set by Mister Baileys ridden by Jason Weaver in 1994.

  • Longest odds winner since 1961 is Rockavon with 66 to 1 odds.

  • Sue Magnier is the most successful owner with eight winners from 1997's Entrepreneur to 2017's Churchill.

  • The most successful jockey is Jem Robinson with nine wins from 1825 to 1848.

Best Moments

Each race has its own list of legendary champions. In the history of the 2000 Guineas, one thoroughbred stands out from the rest – Frankel (as of 2017) .

jockey racing horse
  • Frankel recorded a historic unbeaten career with 14 races and 14 wins. Trained by Henry Cecil and only ever ridden by jockey Tom Queally, he decimated a class 2 race in 2010 by 13 lengths and was quickly moved up to Group 1 races. His first win in a Group 1 race was in the Dewhurst Stakes in 2010 where he comfortably won.

  • Ever a favourite, Frankel went into the 2000 Guineas in 2011. He breezed past a strong field, hit the front with a furlong to go in typical Frankel style and won by six lengths. This was Frankel's sixth win of his career.