Makfi ran out a shock 33-1 winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket today, becoming the first French-trained horse to win the first Classic of the Flat season for 15 years.
Makfi, who was British bred by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum but sold unraced at last year’s Tattersalls Horses-In-Training sale, had won both his starts before the Guineas for trainer Mikel Delzangles. He is by young Darley sire Dubawi.
“He won the French trial for the Guineas, the Prix Djebel, and I was hoping to run very well,” said Delzanges. “He’s a very quiet, cool horse but he can quicken.”
Makfi was ridden by Christophe Lemaire, who won the 1000 Guineas two years ago on Natagora.
The red-hot favourite, St Nicholas Abbey, disappointed in sixth, his trainer Aidan O’Brien saying he didn’t like the ground and was unsuited by the slow early pace. O’Brien’s other runners, Fencing Master and Viscount Nelson, finished seventh and 11th.
Richard Hannon trained the second and third home, Greenham Stakes winner Dick Turpin and Canford Cliffs.
Tomorrow’s 1000 Guineas could also go to France — the favourite is Special Duty, trained by Criquette Head-Maarek.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report on all the action from the first Classic meeting of the 2010 Flat racing season, on sale Thursday 6 May