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  • 15:15 Stanjames.com 1000 Guineas Stakes 1m

  • (fillies Group 1) £400,000 added 3yo 14 ran
  • Winner: £
  • Going: Good to Firm, Firm in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 1m 34.22s
  • Off time: 15:16:51

Ghanaati Springs Guineas Shock

By Martin Kelly and Tom Peacock, PA Sport.   Last Updated: 03/05/09 5:49pm

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Ghanaati powers to Guineas glory.

Ghanaati powers to Guineas glory.

Barry Hills registered his 11th Classic success just weeks after clocking up 3000 career wins as Ghanaati caused a 20-1 upset in the stanjames.com 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Much of the pre-race focus surrounded ante-post favourite and eventual 8-11 market leader Rainbow View, but the hitherto unbeaten filly never landed a blow and could only finish fifth.

A little over two weeks ago, Rainbow View blew away the cobwebs with a gallop before racing on the historic Rowley Mile and Ghanaati had done likewise when working with two stablemates.

But while Rainbow View continued to contract in the market, the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned daughter of Giant's Causeway was virtually ignored - especially having just an all-weather maiden win to her name.

But 72-year-old Hills was brimming with confidence and his faith translated into a length-and-a-half blitz under the trainer's son, Richard.

The rider had the filly in the front rank from the moment they jumped from the stalls, and she pulled away in the final two furlongs of the mile Classic to hold the challenge of the rallying Cuis Ghaire.

Hills nominated the general health of his sting as the reason for his amazing start to 2009, which has seen him amass 21 individual winners.

The trainer, who last tasted Classic success with Hamdan Al Maktoum's Haafhd five years ago, said: "I have always thought she is very good and I was hoping for a very big run.

"I think she will be much better over a mile and a quarter, but I do not know how far she will stay.

"She has got size and scope and has a great temperament.

"She is in the Oaks and we will have to talk to Sheikh Hamdan and his racing manager Angus Gold, but I really don't know where she will go after this.

"It is too early to say about the Breeders' Cup but at the back of my mind I could see her winning the Champion Stakes, although there a few more races before that."

Talk of retirement often circles Hills, with his son and assistant Charlie waiting in the wings to take over.

The veteran trainer added: "One day I will say that is it and stop. That won't be too long away and I want Charlie to be successful, but it won't be easy."

For the jockey, it was a sixth Classic victory and a third in the 1000 Guineas.

He said: "I haven't seen a replay but it went very straightforward. I was on a filly who can gallop and I used that to my advantage.

"She has got a great cruising speed and a mile was well within her scope so I made it a proper test.

"It is special to win this for dad, and he just said 'I told you so' when I came back in."

Bookmakers slashed her for the Oaks, but her owner poured cold water on that prospect with doubts over her staying a mile and a half.

Sheikh Hamdan said: "The trainer has kept quiet about her.

"I asked him about her at the Craven meeting as she is one of my best-bred fillies and he said not to worry and that she was going the right way.

"I do not think she will stay a mile and a half. She has now won a Guineas and I don't see much point in winning another, so she will maybe go for the Coronation."

Gold expanded on Hills' recent bullishness, saying: "I said to Barry 'are you sure you want to run in the Guineas' and he said 'yes'.

"I said 'she could be third or fourth', and Barry said 'or she could win'.

"He doesn't often say things like that and during this week he got quieter and quieter, which is always a good sign.

"Fairy play to Barry and his team - they have done a great job with her.

"Last year I thought she would be a mile-and-a-quarter filly and wouldn't have the speed for the Guineas.

"I am sure she will be best at a mile and a quarter and all options are open to her.

"The Coronation would be a fabulous race to aim at, and we also have John Gosden's Mooakada to run in the Oaks."

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