What are the Five Classic Flat Races in the UK Flat Season?

What are the Five Classic Flat Races in the UK Flat Season?

The Classics are the peak of British flat racing.

2000 Guineas

The 2000 Guineas is the first of the five classic races throughout the flat season. Each race is only available for three-year olds with the 2000 Guineas specifically for three-year-old colts. The race is run over one mile at Newmarket's Rowley Mile racecourse. 

This year’s race will be run on the 4th of May. Currently last season's Dewhurst winner, City Of Troy, is the market leader at a best priced 4/6 on William Hill. His Dewhurst form was given a recent boost when 5th placed Haatem came out and won the Craven Stakes, a key trial for the race, on Thursday of last week. 

The Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner, Rosallion, is a firm second favourite at 9/2. The 2023 renewal saw Chaldean win for Andrew Balding and Frankie Dettori. City Of Troy is trained by Aidan O'Brien who has won four of the last 10 renewals while Rosallion's trainer Richard Hannon last won the race with Night of Thunder in 2014. 

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1000 Guineas

The 1000 Guineas is the second race run at Newmarket in Guineas weekend and is the previous race's counterpart for three-year-old fillies. Run on the following day (Sunday 5th May this year), it is also run over 1 mile on Newmarket's Rowley Mile racecourse. 

In this year's market, both Fallen Angel (11/4) and Ylang Ylang (3/1) are vying for favouritism. Ylang Ylang won last season's Fillies' Mile, a key trial for the race.

However, only one horse in the last 10 years who won the Fillies' Mile has gone on to land this race, Minding in 2016. She was trained by Aiden O'Brien who has won five of the past 10 renewals of this race and who has the aforementioned Ylang Ylang.

Conversely, Fallen Angel's trainer, Karl Burke, has only had one horse placed in the race in the past 10 years, that being Laurens in 2018. 

Oaks

The Oaks is the third Classic of the season and takes place towards the end of May or the beginning of June at Epsom Downs racecourse. This year's renewal is being run on Friday 31st May. The Oaks is run over the intermediate trip of 1m 4f and is open only to three-year-old fillies. 

The current 1000 Guineas favourite, Ylang Ylang, also heads up the market for the Oaks at 7/1 on Ladbrokes. The last horse to do the 1000 Guineas - Oaks double was Love in 2020 for Aiden O'Brien. Last year's winner was Soul Sister for John and Thady Gosden, ridden by Frankie Dettori. This year, the Gosdens have Regal Jubilee entered who is available at a best priced 20/1. 

Derby

The Derby is the fourth Classic of the season and is the Oaks’ counterpart for three-year-old colts. It is run the day after the Oaks, with this year's race being run on Saturday 1st June. 

The 2000 Guineas favourite, City Of Troy, also heads up the market for the Derby at a best priced 6/4. The last horse to do the 2000 Guineas - Derby double was Camelot back in 2012, also for Aiden O'Brien. 

In fact, the Ballydoyle trainer has won five of the last 10 renewals, including winning last year's renewal with Auguste Rodin. The Derby is by far and away the most valuable of the five Classics with this year's winner set to scoop £850,000. 

St Leger 

The St Leger is the last of the five classics run several months later in September at Doncaster racecourse. It continues the incremental distances of the races with it being run over 1m 6f.

This year's race is set to be run on the 14th September with Grosvenor Square the ante-post favourite at a best price 5/1. The son of Galileo is also trained by Aiden O'Brien who has won three of the past 10 renewals of the race including last year's on account of Continuous. 

Interestingly, City Of Troy is a close second favourite in the market in a bid to win the famous Triple Crown of the 2000 Guineas - Derby - St Leger. Although 15 horses have complete this feat, the last to do so was Nijinsky in 1970. 

However, the Aiden O'Brien trained Camelot was agonisingly close to joining this list when he went down by 3/4 length in the 2012 St Leger after winning both the Guineas and the Derby. 

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