LONDON (Reuters) - Qatar Racing-owned 10-1 shot Kameko, ridden by champion jockey Oisin Murphy and trained by Andrew Balding, ended red hot favourite Pinatubo’s unbeaten run to win the 2,000 Guineas in record time at Newmarket on Saturday.
Kameko beat Wichita (15-2), with Frankie Dettori in the saddle, by a neck over the Rowley Mile in the first classic of a British flat season disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pinatubo, the 5-6 odds-on favourite, finished third and a further length adrift in the field of 15.
The race was run without spectators, and with jockeys wearing face masks.
“I’ve never won a Classic in Britain and this means the absolute world to me, for everyone connected with this horse as well,” said Murphy after Kameko was installed as a favourite for July’s Epsom Derby.
“It’s the stuff of dreams... around four furlongs he got a little bit lost but he came home really well. It was a gutsy performance.
The winning time of one minute 34.72 seconds beat Mister Baileys’ 1994 record by 0.36 seconds. The great Frankel clocked 1:37.30 for his Guineas win in 2011.
Godolphin-owned Pinatubo, named after a volcano in the Philippines and trained by Charlie Appleby, had finished last season as the highest-rated juvenile in a quarter of a century.
Rated a wonder horse in the making and unbeaten in six starts, the colt was making his debut as a three-year-old ridden by William Buick.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge and Hugh Lawson