Stan James UK Guineas Festival 2008
The Stan James UK Guineas Festival 2008 will be hosted by Newmarket Racecourse on the 3rd and 4th of May 2008. Spectators come from far and wide to be witness to the running of two very popular races at the Stan James UK Guineas Festival, namely the 2000 Guineas and the 1000 Guineas. This year, the 2000 Guineas is even more special than ever as it will be the 200th running of this race, and racing enthusiasts will spill out in their thousands to support this horse racing spectacular.
The very first 2000 Guineas race took place on 18 April 1809 and had a purse of 2000 guineas, hence the name. It is a race that both fillies and colts are welcome to participate in, however, it is a colt dominated race and fillies rarely enter. The race is over a mile in distance and is a rather good challenge for three year olds. One of the most successful jockeys to have participated in the 2000 Guineas horse racing event is Jem Robinson, who had nine wins. He dominated the field for three years consecutively, from 1833 to 1836, but also won in 1825, 1828 and 1831. Lester Piggott is the closest living jockey to Robinson, with seven wins. The first horse to win the 2000 Guineas was a horse named Wizard. His owner was Christopher Wilson, with T. Perren as his trainer.
The 1000 Guineas was run for the first time in 1814. It has a racing distance of over a mile and is for fillies. As with the 2000 Guineas, the 1000 Guineas was also named after its purse amount. The horse to win the inauguration race was Charlotte and there were four other outstanding fillies during those years that won the 1000 Guineas/2000 Guineas Double, namely Crucifix in 1840, Formosa in 1868, Pilgrimage in 1878 and Sceptre in 1902.
In 1894, the Stan James Jockey Club Stakes was inaugurated, with a sensational win from Triple Crown winner, Isinglass. Current trainer, Sir Michael Stoute has enjoyed six wins in the Stan James Jockey Club Stakes, with Gamut bringing the win home for him in 2004.
The Stan James UK Guineas has been associated with many exceptional horses in its time, including Pretty Polly, Pebbles, Brigadier Gerard, Oh So Sharp, Dancing Brave, Humble Duty, Tagalie, Petite Etoile, Highclere, Salsabil, Haravir, Mister Baileys and Finsceal Beo. This year, there will be more breathtakingly talented racehorses, trying to fix their names in the annals of horse racing history, at the Stan James UK Guineas 2008.