Which horse won the 2,000 Guineas in the fastest time?

Interestingly, and incorrectly, Guinness World Records states that the fastest time in the history of the 2,000 Guineas was the 1 minute and 35.08 seconds clocked by Mister Baileys on April 30, 1994. Trained in Middleham, North Yorkshire by Mark Johnstone – who was participating in a Classic for the first time – Mister Baileys became the first northern-trained winner of the 2,000 Guineas since Rockavon, trained by George Boyd in East Lothian, Scotland, in 1961. He did beat the previous course record, 1 minute and 35.32 seconds, set by Zafonic on May 1, 1993 but, despite the Guinness assertion, his record no longer stands.

In 2020, horse racing in Great Britain was suspended on March 18, initially until the end of April, because of the coronavirus pandemic. The suspension was subsequently extended to June 1, such that the 2,000 Guineas was run a month later than usual, on June 6, but still over the traditional course and distance, on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. Quite why the fact has been overlooked, or excluded, by Guinness World Records is a mystery, but numerous reliable sources – including the ‘Racing Post’ and ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica’ – note that the race was won by Kameko in a time of 1 minute and 34.72 seconds, thereby setting a new course record.

Owned by Qatar Racing Limited, trained by Andrew Balding and ridden, throughout his ten-race career, by Oisin Murphy, Kameko had comfortably won the Vertem Futurity Trophy, over a mile, at Newcastle on his final start as a juvenile. Making his seasonal debut at Newmarket, Kameko was sent off 10/1 fourth-favourite behind the hitherto unbeaten Pinaturbo, but knuckled down well in the closing stages, despite drifting right, to win by a neck.

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