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Kameko proved too good for red-hot favourite Pinatubo as he lifted the first British Classic race of the season – the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Pinatubo arrived unbeaten in six juvenile starts and boasting the highest two-year-old rating for 25 years with many pundits declaring him the new Frankel.

However, he was only third as Kameko triumphed for Andrew Balding and champion jockey Oisin Murphy.

There was drama from the start as Kenzai Warrior nearly unshipped Jason Watson leaving the barriers, but all the main contenders soon settled in the pack as outsiders Persuasion and Juan Elcano cut out the early pace.

Kameko and Pinatubo were both perfectly poised to challenge and with a furlong to run it was between that pair and Aidan O’Brien’s Wichita for the first Classic of the season.

However, while 10-1 shot Kameko found plenty in the final half-furlong, the 5-6 favourite Pinatubo had no more to give and it was left to Wichita to chase home the winner, beaten a neck. Pinatubo finished a further length adrift.

Murphy said: “I’ve never won a Classic in Britain and it means the absolute world to me. It’s the stuff of dreams.

“It was a gutsy performance. He hardly blew a candle out afterwards – he must have a tremendous amount of ability.”

 
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