After listing seven of the best 2000 Guineas winners this century, Steven Dowler turns his attention to the 1000 Guineas. Here are his five best 1000 Guineas winners since 2000.
Minding is no doubt one of the best fillies Aidan O’Brien has ever trained. She won seven Group 1 races in her career but her performance in the 2016 1000 Guineas was a defining moment, adding further Group 1 race success to her already superb CV. Minding was sent off 11-10 favourite in the hands of Ryan Moore and the pair were up against 15 strong opponents.
However, there was never a moment of worry for her followers as Minding glided through the field to score by over three lengths. She defeated stablemates Ballydoyle and Alice Springs as Aidan O’Brien managed the one-two-three in the race. Minding went on to win four more Group 1 races before retiring in 2017. One of the best fillies we have seen for a long time.
BLUE BUNTING (2011)
Godolphin had a very smart filly back in 2011 named Blue Bunting. She won five of her eight career starts in total with her biggest success coming in the 1000 Guineas where she was sent off 16-1 and ridden by Frankie Dettori who hadn’t won the 1000 Guineas since 2002 aboard Kazzia.
Blue Bunting was well back in the field approaching the finish but Frankie Dettori galvanised her to produce a late burst of speed when others began to labour and take the spoils. She was a brilliant racehorse who won three Group 1 races in her career; the 1000 Guineas, Irish Oaks and also the Yorkshire Oaks before retiring in 2011.
Mark Johnson had the brilliant Attraction, who was a commanding winner of the 1000 Guineas back in 2004. It was a cracking training performance considering the filly hadn’t been on the track for 299 days beforehand and it was her first run beyond six furlongs. She demonstrated a determined attitude to fend off all rivals and win the race by half-a-length, proving many doubters wrong.
Attraction went on to claim more Group 1 glory in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot before rounding off her brilliant career when taking another Group 1 on her final start. She was a top-class filly who didn’t just have speed but was also blessed with pure toughness, staying power and she demonstrated all of those attributes when claiming the 1000 Guineas.
The 2009 renewal saw a top-class field beaten by the beautifully bred Ghanaati who won for the Hills family in terrific style. Trainer Barry Hills was lucky enough to gain his second 1000 Guineas winner 31 years after he first took the race with Enstone Spark.
Ghanaati was somewhat overlooked in the market at 20–1 due to many thinking Rainbow View, the odds-on favourite, would win the race. However, Ghanaati, a daughter of the high-class Giant’s Causeway was making her turf debut having only run twice in maiden company on the polytrack. Despite her lack of experience, she powered away to score by over a length.
Ghanaati demonstrated the same explosive turn of foot when winning her second Group 1 which came in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot next time our before retiring after placing twice in two more Group 1 races. Ghanaati was a great winner of the 1000 Guineas and overall she was a fantastic filly considering she only raced six times in her career.
HOMECOMING QUEEN (2012)
The 2012 renewal was arguably one of the strangest in recent memory. Aidan O’Brien saddled hot 13-8 favourite Maybe, who was ridden by Aidan’s son Joseph. However, Aidan also decided to let Homecoming Queen take her chance who was sent off 25/1 at the hands of Ryan Moore. Despite a world-class jockey riding her, nobody expected her to do what she did that day.
Ryan Moore sent Homecoming Queen straight to the front as soon as the gates opened, looking as though she was a pacesetter for Maybe as Joseph O’Brien looked to be in a good position aboard the favourite. Nevertheless, Homecoming Queen galloped into an ever so widening margin and Ryan Moore kicked on again going into the dip aboard Ballydoyle’s second string. They were never to be caught as the 25-1 outsider romped home by nine lengths, providing Ryan Moore with a first success in the race.
What made her performance even more substantial is that Homecoming Queen was beaten on her next two starts and never raced again. She was a very inconsistent filly but on the day of the 1000 Guineas she was extraordinary. She proved herself to be in a completely different league to her rivals on this specific occasion and the yard completed the Guineas double the following day when Camelot won the 2000 Guineas.
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