Ghanaati gave 72-year-old trainer Barry Hills a second Stan James.com 1000 Guineas winner 31 years after he first took the race with Enstone Spark.
Ridden in the Newmarket fillies’ Classic by Hills’ son Richard and owned by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, Ghanaati was somewhat overlooked by punters at 20-1.
All the focus was on the odds-on favourite Rainbow View, who ran disappointingly to finish fifth. Jockey Jimmy Fortune said that the ground was too firm for the John Gosden-trained filly.
Ghanaati, a good-looking American-bred daughter of Giant’s Causeway out of a half-sister to Nashwan, Nayef and Unfuwain, ran a strong race and finished 11/2 lengths ahead of the Jim Bolger-trained Cuis Ghaire. Super Sleuth, still a maiden, was third for Brian Meehan, while Aidan O’Brien’s Heart Shaped was fourth.
This was Ghanaati’s first run on turf — both her previous outings were on Polytrack at Kempton late last year. She was immediately slashed from 50-1 to 4-1 favourite for the Oaks, but Barry Hills said he thought she might be a 10-furlong horse and wasn’t certain to stay the mile and a half.
He said: “She’s very special, but, having said that, she never showed all that much at home. She’ll be better at 10 furlongs, and I could see her winning the Champion Stakes [back at Newmarket in October].”
Aspen Darling, pulled up before halfway, was reported to have strained a tendon. Her racing career is likely to be over, but she will be retained as a broodmare.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report on all the action from 2009’s first classic meeting in Thursday’s magazine