A Review Of Sunday’s 1000 Guineas At Newmarket: Billesdon Brook Produces One Of The Biggest Shocks In 1000 Guineas History

Prior to this year’s renewal the biggest priced winner of Newmarket’s 1000 Guineas had been the 17th Earl of Derby’s Ferry, who was returned at an SP of 50-1 when beating her seven rivals exactly a hundred years ago in 1918. The record held by the George Lambton-trained filly came to an end at headquarters on Sunday afternoon when Billesdon Brook took the first fillies’ Classic of the season at 66-1 for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Sean Levey.

Going into the race on a mark of 99, a full stone below that of 11-4 favourite Happily, there was no fluke about the victory of the daughter of Champs Elysees who improved significantly from her Nell Gwyn fourth to take up the running from long-time leader Laurens approaching the final furlong, coming a length and three quarters clear of P J McDonald’s mount with Ryan Moore and Happily a never-nearer half length further back in third spot. The next three horses home were the well-fancied trio of Wild Illusion, Altyn Orda and Soliloquy, giving the form a more than solid look.

Almost certainly with an element of tongue in cheek in the aftermath of the race, the winning trainer said: “ This is great. I knew she’d win. My Guineas winners aren’t terribly popular with the punters as they tend to be big prices. All of our Guineas winners have needed their first run – they tend to get beat in their trials. I’m just delighted for everybody at the yard and delighted for Sean.”

With a view to the rest of the season, the third horse Happily got caught flat-footed when the pace quickened and appeared to be crying out for a longer trip. Whether that is to be a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half is unclear but should the daughter of Galileo and You’resothrilling stay the Oaks trip the 6-1 currently available with Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power for that race could prove more than generous.