Kameko gets the better of Witchita and Pinatubo to win 2,000 Guineas
The eyes of the racing world were on Pinatubo, but it was the Andrew Balding-trained Kameko that landed the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas for big-race sponsor Sheikh Fahad this afternoon.
With six wins from six in 2019, Charlie Appleby's Pinatubo was regarded as the odds-on favourite by bookmakers to land the first Classic of the delayed Flat campaign at Newmarket.
But it was not to be as Kameko – with Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy on board – won the battle against Aidan O'Brien's Wichita in the closing stages, while last season's champion juvenile had to settle for third.
"It's a massive thrill. We have been looking forward to the race for a long time," said Berkshire-based Balding, who was winning the 2,000 Guineas for the first time.
"It is fantastic they could get it on – the Guineas is the Guineas whenever it is run. I am just really thrilled for Oisin, the Qatar team and everyone at Kingsclere.
"He won a Group 1 (Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes) very impressively at the end of last year that has an impressive record of producing Guineas winners, so we have been thinking about this since November."
Balding went on to add that his preference would be to run Kameko in the Investec Derby at the start of July, for which he has now been installed as the 4-1 favourite.