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Meet Guineas Legends

1 May 2013

Guineas legends Willie Carson, John Reid and Kevin Darley will sign autographs before racing at the Rowley Mile on Sunday prior to a spectacular card to celebrate the 200th running of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.

Willie Carson will be one of the stars at Newmarket on Sunday. Image courtesy of

The QIPCO British Champions Series, which showcases the best 35 races in the British Flat racing calendar, kicks off with the the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket Racecourse this weekend and as part of the celebrations for the 200th running of the 1000 Guineas, racegoers will get the opportunity to meet three Guineas winning legends.

Willie Carson, John Reid and Kevin Darley will be signing autographs at 1pm in the winner’s enclosure on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Sunday (5 May).

Willie Carson, formerly part of the BBC TV racing presentation team and who was a contestant on “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here”, rode back to back 1000 Guineas winners in 1990 and 1991 for owner Hamdam Al Maktoum on Salsabil and Shadayid.

He also rode four 2000 Guineas winners – High Top (1972), Known Fact (1980), Don’t Forget Me (1987) and the brilliant Nashwan (1989), who went on to win the Derby, Coral-Eclipse and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes that same season. He was crowned Champion Jockey five times.

John Reid’s first ever Classic’s win was the 1000 Guineas, when he rode the Harry Wragg-trained On The House to victory in 1982. He won the 1000 Guineas for a second time in 1994 on Las Meninas. He also won the Epsom Derby on Dr Devious in 1992 and the St Leger on Nedawi in 1998.

Throughout his 28 year career he rode in excess of 2500 winners in 14 countries, including 48 International Group 1 victories. John is now a qualified Jockey Coach and works on behalf of the British Horseracing Authority developing and coaching young jockeys.

Kevin Darley’s riding career spanned 32 years. He was Champion Apprentice in 1978 and went on to be Champion Jockey in 2000. He won the 1000 Guineas in 2004 on Attraction for trainer Mark Johnston.

After retiring from race riding in 2007, he was appointed as Industry Liaison Director to the Professional Jockeys Association before being appointed Chief Executive in 2009. Since leaving the PJA, Kevin has been working for the Northern Racing College passing on his wealth of knowledge and experience training their Apprentice Jockeys.

Tickets are still available for both days of the QIPCO Guineas Festival this weekend.

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