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From Tudor Minstrel to Frankel – 10 great winners of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas

25 Apr 2016

With just 10 days until the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, the first race of the QIPCO British Champion Series, we recall ten great winners of the race.


Trainer: Fred Darling

Jockey: Gordon Richards

Owner: Arthur Dewar

The champion two-year-old of 1946 (unbeaten in four starts) won at Bath on his reappearance in 1947 before starting at 11-8 favourite for the Guineas and romping home by eight lengths, which remains a record margin. He would have won by a much bigger distance had Gordon Richards not eased him up in the closing stages. Tudor Minstrel started at 4-7 for the Derby on the strength of that runaway victory but did not stay, finishing fourth.


Trainer: Vincent O’Brien

Jockey: Lester Piggott

Owner: Raymond Guest

The American-bred colt was sent off 11-8 favourite and won by a length and a half after having too much speed for Petingo, his principal rival, in the closing stages. Showed similar acceleration to win the Derby on his next start, after which Lester Piggott declared that he was “the best I have ridden.” Piggott, though, had other riches to come.


Trainer: Vincent O’Brien

Jockey: Lester Piggott

Owner: Charles Engelhard

Unbeaten in five starts as a two-year-old, Nijinsky became the first horse in 35 years to win the Triple Crown. None have managed the feat since. His victory in the Guineas, at 4-7 against 13 rivals, was straightforward. He led two out travelling powerfully and was not extended to beat Yellow God by two and a half lengths.


Trainer: Joe Mercer

Jockey: Dick Hern

Owner: Jean Hislop

Outstanding colt who won 17 of his 18 races. Faced only five rivals at Newmarket but it was a sparkling renewal, with the three best two-year-olds of the previous season – My Swallow, Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerard – colliding head on. Mill Reef and My Swallow had won their prep races and started at 6-4 and 2-1, respectively, but Brigadier Gerard, making his reappearance and sent off at 11-2, surged past the pair of them to win by three lengths.


Trainer: Henry Cecil

Jockey: Gianfranco Dettori

Owner: Carlo d’Alessio

The runaway champion two-year-old of 1975 – he was rated at least 5lb superior to all his peers – won the Greenham on his return and then decisively beat 16 opponents in the Guineas after being sent off at evens. Started 11-10 favourite for the Derby next time but did not last home, finishing fifth. Henry Cecil, the winning trainer, was to keep that in mind more than three decades later, when Frankel arrived at his yard.


Trainer: Vincent O’Brien

Jockey: Pat Eddery

Owner: Robert Sangster

Unbeaten in four starts as a juvenile and beat Sadlers Wells, his stablemate, on his return. Preserved his 100 per cent record when beating the exalted trio of Chief Singer, Lear Fan and Rainbow Quest in his Guineas. Started odds-on for the Derby but was outstayed by Secreto, before going one better in the Irish equivalent.


Trainer: Guy Harwood

Jockey: Greville Starkey

Owner: Prince Khalid Abdullah

His emphatic three-length defeat of Green Desert, after being sent off 15-8 favourite, helped establish him as one of the greatest thoroughbreds there has been. Unfortunate to lose his unbeaten record in the Derby on his next start before famously landing a vintage renewal of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the autumn.


Trainer: Dick Hern

Jockey: Willie Carson

Owner: Hamdan Al Maktoum

Operated under the radar as a two-year-old, winning both his starts (like Dancing Brave before him). Was a huge gamble for the Guineas, though, after word of sizzling gallops got out and he won by a length as 3-1 favourite. Went on to win the Derby, Eclipse and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes during a memorable summer.


Trainer: John Oxx

Jockey: Mick Kinane

Owner: Christopher Tsui

Not an obvious candidate for Guineas glory – he was beaten in his only race as a two-year-old and had an interrupted preparation – but he moved easily throughout and eased a length clear of Delegator, the favourite, in the closing stages. Went from strength to strength afterwards, winning the Derby, Eclipse, International Stakes. Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.


Trainer: Henry Cecil

Jockey: Tom Queally

Owner: Prince Khalid Abdullah

Regarded by many as the greatest thoroughbred to have graced the turf, Frankel was a remarkable six-length winner – making all and burning off the opposition a long way from home. The 1-2 favourite had been 15 lengths clear at halfway, setting fractions usually reserved for protagonists in the July Cup. His story was to have many more unforgettable chapters and, by the time he was retired, he had won all 14 of his races – nine of them at group one level.