Newmarket Racecourses is preparing to host the 200th running of the 1000 Guineas sponsored by QIPCO on Sunday, May 5.
The one-mile Group 1 race – for three-year-old fillies - is the second of the five Classic races run on the flat in Britain every year and is the second of the 35 races that form the QIPCO British Champions Series.
To mark the historic occasion, a family fun day is being staged on The Rowley Mile at the Home of British Flat Racing and adult tickets can be bought in advance on a two-for-the-price-of-one basis. They are available by quoting FAM2013 online at www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk or calling 0844 579 3010.
There’s even a public ‘Guineas Treasure Hunt’ for 200 replica Guinea coins with the prizes including a stay in the ‘Master Suite’ of the new Paddocks House in Newmarket.
There’s other free entertainment too including ‘meet the racehorse’, riding a mechanical horse, and giant inflatables, human statues, musicians, jugglers, face painters, Bambi the miniature pony and stilt-walkers.
Plus all the excitement of the feature race which can trace its history to 1814 when King George III was on the throne, Lord Liverpool was prime minister and the Napoleonic Wars were still being fought.
Gates open at midday on Sunday 5 May. The first race is at 2.05pm, with the finale at 5.35pm. The QIPCO 1000 Guineas is at 3.50pm. On-the-day admission: Premier £40; Grandstand & Paddock £23; Family Enclosure £10. Concessions prices for senior citizens, students with NUS cards and 18-24 year olds are: Premier £20; Grandstand & Paddock £16.
The filly that won the inaugural race 199 years ago was called Charlotte – so everyone called Charlotte will be allowed in free to the Grandstand & Paddock enclosure on Sunday 5 May.
All that Charlottes have to do is bring either their passport or their driving licence as identification.
There are 22 fillies left in the race from an original entry of 69.
That number is likely to be further reduced at the 48-hour declaration stage on Friday 3 May.
The current favourite for the race is Hot Snap, trained by Sir Henry Cecil in Newmarket and the winner of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas prep race on The Rowley Mile, the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes, earlier this month.
The highest rated filly is Sky Lantern, second to Hot Snap in the same race and trained by Richard Hannon.
Other well-fancied runners are the unbeaten Just The Judge, the French raider What A Name, the Irish-trained Big Break and Moth, plus Sky Lantern’s stable-mate Maureen. The owners of Moth will need to pay extra to run her as she was not an original entry.
Two hundred replica Guinea coins are being hidden around The Rowley Mile as part of an enormous public ‘Guineas Treasure Hunt’.
Everyone who finds a coin wins a prize by taking it to the customer relations desk in the Millennium Grandstand.
Three of the coins are special - golden, silver and bronze stars.
The finder of the golden star coin wins: dinner, bed and breakfast for two people in the ‘Master Suite’ at Paddocks House in Newmarket (www.thehousecollection.com), which includes a private cinema room, with Champagne on arrival; the chance to meet Simple Minds at Adnams Newmarket Night (21 June); two Newmarket Racecourses annual badges for the 2013 season; and a commemorative proof coin set worth £65 and a Golden Guinea commemorative coin worth £10 from The Royal Mint.
The finder of the silver star coin wins: a VIP dinner for two people in the Summer House Restaurant on The July Course including admission for the ‘Big Pop Party’ featuring Liberty X, Blue and 5ive (28 June); the chance to meet members of Blue; and a Golden Guinea commemorative coin.
The finder of the bronze star coin wins: two Premier Enclosure tickets to see Keane on Adnams Newmarket Night (9 August); a bottle of Champagne; and a Golden Guinea commemorative coin.
The first person and 100th person to recover a coin will also receive a Golden Guinea commemorative coin. Every general coin recovered wins one Grandstand & Paddock ticket to The Cambridgeshire Meeting in September.
The Guineas Treasure Hunt is limited to one coin per person.
15 key facts about the 1000 Guineas
• The race name comes from the original prize-money – a guinea amounted to £1.05 or 21 shillings. It is the second of the five Classic races held in Britain and is one of two restricted to fillies. The 200th QIPCO 1000 Guineas this year is worth £400,000 in prize-money.
• The first 1000 Guineas was run on 29 April 1814, five years after the first 2000 Guineas which is open to both colts and fillies.
• The first winner of the race was called Charlotte who defeated four other fillies. She was returned at odds of 11/5 and her jockey’s silks were light blue with a black trim and a black cap.
• The race was set up by The Jockey Club under Sir Charles Bunbury who had earlier been involved in establishing The Derby on Epsom Downs.
• The 1000 Guineas in 1945 was held on VE Day – 8 May – and attracted a big and jubilant crowd.
• The fastest winning time was that of Ghanaati in 2009 – 1 minute 34.22 seconds.
• The widest winning margin was 20 lengths, by Mayonaise in 1859.
• The shortest-priced winner was Crucifix (1/10) in 1840; the longest-priced winner was Ferry (50/1) in 1918.
• The largest field of runners was 29 in 1926; the smallest was just one – Tontine who won in a walkover - in 1825.
• The most successful current jockey, with four wins in the race, is Kieren Fallon, followed by Frankie Dettori on three. The rider with most winners ever was Cambridge-born George Fordham with seven between 1859 and 1883.
• The most successful current trainer, with six wins in the race, is Sir Henry Cecil, although it is 14 years since his last victory. The trainer with the most winners ever was Robert Robson with nine between 1818 and 1827.
• The Queen owned the winner of the race in 1974 – Highclere – her third Classic success at the time. Her grandfather, King George V, had won the race in 1928 with Scuttle, his first Classic winner.
• The Queen’s father, King George VI, triumphed twice, with Sun Chariot in 1942 and Hypericum in 1946. The latter won despite having initially thrown her jockey off and run into a car park.
• The 1975 race was delayed because of a ‘sit-in’ on the racecourse by stable lads who were on strike in a pay dispute. While the Guineas races were run, the industrial action caused the French Oaks to be abandoned and there were pickets at Royal Ascot.
• The 1985 winner Oh So Sharp went on to complete the fillies’ ‘Triple Crown’ of 1000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger. Formosa, in 1868, was the first filly ever to achieve the ‘Triple Crown’.
10 other events of 1814 when the 1000 Guineas began
• The inaugural cricket match was played at Lord’s.
• The first plastic surgery was carried out in England.
• Jeremiah Colman started making mustard near Norwich.
• Napoleon was exiled to Elba.
• George Stephenson successfully tested his first locomotive.
• The last hanging in England under the ‘Black Act’ took place – on a man convicted of cutting down an orchard.
• The Duke of Wellington won the Battle of Toulouse.
• Henri Nestlé – of Swiss chocolate fame – was born.
• Jane Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’ was published.
• The poem ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ – which would become the American national anthem – was penned.