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As it happened: Newmarket's Qipco Guineas Festival - Day One

Playful Sound, winner of the Spring Lodge Stakes for Sir Michael Stoute
Playful Sound, winner of the Spring Lodge Stakes for Sir Michael Stoute

Today marked the start of the Qipco Guineas Festival at Newmarket's Rowley Mile, which included the 2,000 Guineas - the first Classic of 2017. Find out how the afternoon unfolded with our text updates below.

5.37pm: And that's a wrap from us.

Mixed results for Newmarket stables and trainers today, with the biggest story of the day being Meade's Eminent finishing a disappointing sixth.

The star of the show, meanwhile, was Ryan Moore with three victories.

Don't forget, there is plenty more action tomorrow, including the 1,000 Guineas.

Thanks for joining us and until next, goodbye.

5.34pm: Just had confirmation of a crowd figure for today, which stands at 19,417 - a modern day record!

5.25pm: It feels like we just started, but that was the final race of day one at this year's Qipco Guineas Festival at the Rowley Mile.

And it felt like the right way to wrap things up, with by far the closest finish we've had today.

Ronald R took that by a nose over favourite Son of the Stars.


5.20pm: The Qipco Racing Welfare Handicap Stakes is under way...Son of the Stars is the favourite for Richard Hannon.

5.15pm: Last race of the day just five minutes away.

4.58pm: A third win of the day for the impressive Ryan Moore as the Newmarket representatives in the race after left trailing in his wake.


4.45pm: Off and running in the Havana Gold Newmarket Stakes...

4.30pm: The penultimate race of the meeting is just 15 minutes away and there is plenty of Newmarket interest in the Havana Gold Stakes. John Gosden, Hugo Palmer and Charlie Appleby all have entrants, with Frankie Dettori going on Gosden's 6-4 favourite Khalidi.

4.21pm: Trainer Barron may work out of Thirsk, but the winning jockey Silvestre de Sousa is based here at HQ. A great result given that only Smokey Lane (33-1) went off at longer odds than Danielsflyer (25-1).


4.15pm: The Hot Streak Handicap Stakes is under way...

4.08pm: It was not to be for Eminent, who was contesting third for a while but ended up being squeezed out and finished in sixth position. Another of Frankel's offspring - Dream Castle - came home fifth.

4pm: Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Churchill, said: "I'm just a small part of the team. Everyone around him was very happy and that was the important thing."

3.41pm: CHURCHILL (Aidan O'Brien) WINS THE QIPCO 2,000 GUINEAS

The overwhelming favourite takes the Classic. Eminent (Martyn Meade) doesn't place.

Barney Roy and Al Wukair take second and third position behind the winner.

3.35pm: Grandstands start to fill with 5 minutes to go.

3.25pm: Horses are parading around the paddock and Newmarket feels as busy as it looks, this is an expectant and excited crowd.

3.10pm: While Churchill is the favourite to prosper in the first Classic of 2017, there is also plenty of intrigue surrounding Bury Road-based Martyn Meade's Eminent after his impressive win in the Craven Stakes a fortnight ago.

Speaking after that triumph, Meade said: “He just stays, that’s the thing. He doesn’t quicken too much, but the way that he hit the dip there, he (Jim Crowley, jockey) held him together nicely. I knew in that position that they were not going to stop him."

What makes an Eminent victory all the more an exciting prospect is the fact that he is one of Frankel's sons, as is Saeed bin Suroor's Dream Castle. Remember, Frankel won this race in devastating fashion in 2011.

3.03pm: It's a first win (of many?!) this weekend for O'Brien. The four-year-old started as the pre-race 4-7 favourite and certainly lived up to that billing. Next up, the small matter of the 2,000 Guineas...


2.58pm: The Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes is off and running...

2.41pm: Sir Mark Prescott, trainer of Marsha, said: "She goes very quick. She is very straightforward and very willing. She is very strong at home and has been working on her own."

2.38pm: Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes at 2.55pm.

Only five horses to take to the start after Across the Stars (Sir Michael Stoute) announced as a non-runner.

Pinzolo (Ismail Mohammed) only other Newmarket horse.

Seventh Heaven (Aidan O'Brien) favourite.

2.32pm: Two races, two wins for Newmarket trainers.

Both against the bookies' expectations, it could be a bad day for them if the favourites don't start to pull through.

Next up, the Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes.


2.21pm: They're off in the Longholes Palace Stakes...

2.15pm: Sir Michael Stoute, trainer of Playful Sound, said the result was "very pleasing".

"He was ready to have a race it seems", he said, adding that the

2pm: Great start to the weekend for Newmarket with a 1-2-3. Sir Michael Stoute's Playful Sound - a 10/1 shot - wins it, followed by favourite Next Stage ((Saeed bin Suroor) and Central Square (Roger Varian).


1.52pm: The Spring Lodge Stakes is under way...

1.49pm: Qipco Racing Welfare Handicap Stakes (5.20pm)

Favourite: Son of the Stars (Richard Hannon)

Newmarket Journal interest: Grey Britain (John Ryan), Eagle Creek (Simon Crisford), Via Serendipity (Hugo Palmer), Ronald R (Michael Bell), Seniority (William Haggas)

1.47pm: The Havana Gold Newmarket Stakes (4.45pm)

Favourite: Khalidi (John Gosden)

Newmarket Journal interest: Majoris (Hugo Palmer), Night Circus (Charlie Appleby)

1.45pm: The Hot Streak Handicap Stakes (4.10pm)

Favourite: Victory Angel (Roger Varian)

Newmarket Journal interest: Exmouth (Sir Michael Stoute), Mazyoun (Hugo Palmer)

1.40pm: The QIPCO 2000 Guineas Stakes (3.35pm)

Favourite: Churchill (Aidan O'Brien)

Newmarket Journal interest: Dream Castle (Saeed bin Suroor), Eminent (Martyn Meade), Law and Order (James Tate), Top Score (Saeed bin Suroor),

1.30pm: The Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes (2.55pm)

Favourite: Seventh Heaven (Aidan O'Brien)

Newmarket Journal interest: Pinzolo (Ismail Mohammed) the only Newmarket-based entry, after Sir Michael Stoute's Across the Stars was declared a non-runner.

1.20pm: Longholes Palace House Stakes (2.20pm)

Favourite: Washington DC (Aidan O'Brien)

Newmarket Journal interest: Marsha (Sir Mark Prescott) Goldream (Robert Cowell), Muthmir (William Haggas), Ornate (Robert Cowell), Royal Birth (Stuart Williams)

1.15pm: Spring Lodge Stakes (1.50pm)

Favourite: Ballet Concerto (Sir Michael Stoute)

Newmarket Journal interest: Central Square (Roger Varian), Great Hall (Mick Quinn), Next Stage (Saeed bin Suroor), Playful Sound (Sir Michael Stoute)

1.10pm: Coming up shortly, we will provide the main things you need to know about the seven races on today's card...

1pm:The highlight today, of course, is the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, due off at 3.35pm. Aidan O'Brien's Churchill is the bookmakers' favourite, but there is also plenty of Newmarket interest, spearheaded by Martyn Meade and Eminent. The three-year-old was mightily impressive when winning here a couple of weeks ago in the Craven Stakes, though there are concerns that a mile may be too short for him.

12.30pm:Afternoon all. We're in position at the Rowley Mile, where the excitement is growing as we build up to the first Classic race of 2017. The going is good to firm, with the weather expected to remain dry. However, this is England and there are some grey skies above, so who knows?!

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