Billesdon Brook lands 66-1 surprise in 1000 Guineas

Aidan O’Brien’s Happily finishes third as Richard Hannon’s outsider takes Classic

Sean Levey and Billesdon Brook (L) takes the 1000 Guineas ahead of Happily (R). Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Sean Levey and Billesdon Brook (L) takes the 1000 Guineas ahead of Happily (R). Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

 

Billesdon Brook caused a massive 66-1 upset in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Trained by Richard Hannon and ridden by Sean Levey, the chestnut filly could only finish fourth in the Nell Gwyn Stakes less than three weeks ago, but significantly raised her game to claim Classic glory.

Fillies’ Mile heroine Laurens looked the likely winner when committing for home early, but she was mowed down late by Billesdon Brook and had to make do with the runner-up spot.

Aidan O’Brien’s Happily, the 11-4 favourite, was third.

Hannon said: “This is great. I knew she’d win!

“My Guineas winners aren’t terribly popular with the punters as they tend to be big prices.

“All of our Guineas winners have needed their first run — they tend to get beat in their trials. I’m just delighted for everybody at the yard and delighted for Sean.”

Levey said: “It’s a massive shock, to be honest.

“She had a lot to find with a lot of them but she was settled throughout and then found a turn of foot.

“I’ve had plenty of winners and opportunities but I’ve always needed that Group One, so I’m delighted.”

Meanwhile Aidan O’Brien has raised the possibility of Saxon Warrior being aimed at the Triple Crown.

An impressive winner of the 2000 Guineas, he will now head to the Investec Derby next month.

If all goes well there it will be off to Doncaster for the oldest Classic of them all, the St Leger, in a quest the Coolmore team so very nearly achieved with Camelot in 2012.

O’Brien watched the race on a computer in a hotel room in America as he was with Mendelssohn in his failed bid in the Kentucky Derby.

“We were watching it from afar but it was unbelievable,” O’Brien told ITV Racing.

“Donnacha (O’Brien) has ridden him in all his work so he knew what he was able to do. He knew the horse better than I did.

“The lads (owners) always had it in their heads he would go for the Guineas and Derby. Donnacha was very happy, too, so I think that is what everybody is thinking next.

“The Triple Crown has to be on our minds, if he wins the Derby that would be the obvious thing to do but I haven’t been told yet.”

O’Brien confirmed that Ryan Moore would be back on board at Epsom in his role as number one rider.

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