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Thousand Guineas

The Thousand Guineas is a Group 1 race for three year old fillies only and is held at the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne on the second day of the Caulfield Cup Carnival. The Caulfield Guineas is held on the first day, and the Caulfield Cup on the third day. Originally, the Thousand Guineas was held on the same day as the Caulfield Guineas but was moved to its present slot in 1988.

This year’s race is set to be run on Saturday October 8th. The race is run under set weights plus penalty conditions and is over 1,600 metres. Prize money for the event totals $500,000.

Thousand Guineas History

The first race was held in 1946 and was won by a horse called Sweet Chime. Originally, it was a Principal Race, but was given its Group 1 status in 1979. There has been just one dead heat, when Anna Rose and Heirloom went past the winning post at the same time in 1963.

The field for the Thousand Guineas is always hotly contested for the 16 places available, and consists of only the most talented three year old fillies. Under the set weight rules all horses are treated the same and each has as good a chance of winning as another. Not only do the horses have to be 100% fit, but they also have had to perform well enough beforehand in order to be included.

A large amount of the betting goes through the TAB and on course, but more punters than ever are being attracted by the offers from the online bookmakers.

Lead up races

A very good lead up race for the Thousand Guineas is the Edward Manifold Stakes run over 1,600 metres and held at Flemington at the beginning of October. Over the last few years, three fillies have achieved the double – Special Harmony in 2003, Alinghi in 2004, and Gallico in 2008. In addition to that, Miss Finland (2006) and Serious Speed (2007) were both runners up in the Edward Manifold stakes before going on to win the Thousand Guineas.

However, although similar races, the Flight Stakes at Sydney is not a good guide. Winners in that race do not seem to do too well in the Thousand Guineas.

A lot of the horses in the Thousand Guineas go on to win the Crown Oaks. Several have achieved this, including Richfield Lady (1991), Arborea (1993), Northward Plume (1994), Magical Miss (2001), Special Harmony (2003), and Miss Finland (2006).

Runners in the Thousand Guineas also go on to race in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes which is run over 2,000 metres on Derby Day, so may give some pointers for that race as well.