Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas Betting Tips & Predictions – Curragh, Saturday 25th May 2019

This coming Saturday sees the first classic of the Irish flat racing season take place at the Curragh as the colts line up for the Irish 2000 Guineas. Not too far off its 100th Anniversary now, this contest was first run back in 1921, and boasts an illustrious roll of honour including the likes of Gleneagles, Rock of Gibraltar and super sires, Dubawi and Sadlers Wells. The question for punters of course is, who’s going to join that list in 2019?

This looks an excellent renewal, offering an intriguing clash between the top Irish and British yards. Aidan O’Brien has sent out the winner of Newmarket’s 2000 Guineas here twice in the past four years, and both have followed up. We suspect it may be more of the same this time around.

Top Tips

Magna Grecia to win @ 11/8

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

A total of €400,000 is on offer for this Group 1 contest run over a trip of one mile. The ground at the Irish venue is currently described as good to firm, with 14 runners set to go to post on the day.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good to Firm 1m Group 1 €400,000 14 Runners 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

No real surprise to see that it is Aidan O’Brien and Ballydoyle who have proven to be the dominant force in this of late, coming out on top in five of the past eight editions. With 11 wins in all, O’Brien is now the most successful trainer in the history of the contest.

Prior to 25/1 shock winner, Romanised, last year, this hadn’t been the place to go looking for a surprise result, with five of the previous nine favourites having obliged.

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2018 Romanised 25/1 Ken Condon Shane Foley
2017 Churchill 4/9 Aidan O’Brienr Ryan Moore
2016 Awtaad 9/2 Kevin Prendergast Chris Hayes
2015 Gleneagles 2/5 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2014 Kingman 4/5 John Gosden James Doyle

Analysis: Mag To Bag The Prize

With five of this year’s field of 14 hailing from his yard, Aidan O’Brien looks to boast strong claims of improving his already formidable record in this race. Aidan likely won’t have things all his own way though with strong challengers lining up from both the English and Irish yards.

Great Chance For Grecia

O’Brien may have five in the race, but there is one of that quintet who stands tall above the others in terms of form. Whilst Mohawk boasts a number of solid efforts, including when second in the Dee Stakes at Chester last time out, it is stablemate Magna Grecia who deservedly sits atop the market. Last season’s Racing Post Trophy winner looked better than ever when claiming the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on his return to the track and looks to boast excellent claims. The fact that he only really got on top late at Newmarket before forging clear close home augurs well for this switch to a stiffer track.

Hot Back To The Boil?

The best of these runners as juvenile – indeed the best of any juvenile in Europe – was the John Gosden trained Too Darn Hot. Unbeaten during his two year old campaign, he traded at a short price for the English version of this race all through the winter, only to ultimately miss that engagement due to an injury setback. His comeback in the Dante was therefore much anticipated – and ultimately ended in disappointment. A length second to Telecaster was by no means a bad run, but it did nevertheless burst his bubble somewhat, and he will be looking to bounce back here.

For a horse who possesses so much raw speed, the 1m2f of the Dante was perhaps always going to be something of a stretch, and this step back down in distance looks to be the right call. If anywhere near the level of last season’s scintillating performances, he rates a major threat to all.

Skar To Make His Mark?

Much has been written about the perceived bias towards the near side in the 2000 Guineas, with Magna Grecia looking to be one of the main beneficiaries of racing on the “right” side of the track. As such William Haggas’s Skardu did pretty well to finish as close as he did. The Shamardal colt came out on top on the far side, to only be beaten 4¼l at the line. Another to have been doing all his best work late, this track can be expected to suit, and he shouldn’t be too far away.

Final Verdict: Magna Grecia to win

Too Darn Hot is a short enough price for one who has a couple of questions to answer for us now. Not only was he beaten last time out, but he doesn’t look to have developed as much as some of his rivals. Skardu could be dangerous, as could the unknown quantity Shelir from the yard of Dermot Weld, but overall we see this going to the favourite.

Magna Grecia looked a horse on the up last season, and whilst he may not be the flashiest of individuals, he did it pretty easily at Newmarket last time out and - barring a possibly back to form Too Darn Hot - this race doesn’t look any stronger.

About

Curragh Races
Judi Gowing, flickr

The history of the British Classic races is littered with horses who attempted to win the Triple Crown. That’s a feat that is rarely attempted anymore and connections of the leading contenders of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket are increasingly likely to enter their charges in the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh, as opposed to the Epsom Derby.

Inextricably Linked to Newmarket

The Irish 2000 Guineas has a rich and proud history since its inauguration in 1921. It has always (and understandably) been linked with its equivalent at Newmarket given that it is run over the same distance of 1 mile and often includes several of the leading contenders from the British race. The three week gap between the two races is very deliberate as it is thought to be a perfect gap for horses to compete in both.

That gap was only introduced relatively recently in the history of the Irish 2000 Guineas. The race’s organisers have always tried to attract the very best three-year-old milers though and in total nine horses have completed the Newmarket/Curragh double up to and including the 2018 renewal.

Dual Curragh and Newmarket 2000 Guineas Winners

Horse Trainer Jockey Year
Churchill Aidan O'Brien Ryan Moore 2017
Gleneagles Aidan O'Brien Ryan Moore 2015
Henry The Navigator Aidan O'Brien Johnny Murtagh 2008
Cockney Rebel Geoff Huffer Olivier Peslier 2007
Rock Of Gibraltar Aidan O'Brien Michael Kinane/Johnny Murtagh 2002
Rodrigo de Triano Peter Chapple-Hyam Lester Piggott 1992
Tirol Richard Hannon Snr Pat Eddery/Michael Kinane 1990
Don’t Forget Me Richard Hannon Snr Willie Carson 1987
Right Track John Sutcliffe Jnr Geoff Lewis 1969

Aidan O’Brien an Obvious Place to Start

Punters looking to make some profit from the bookies with the Irish 2000 Guineas have a very obvious place to start - horses trained by the brilliant Aidan O’Brien. He has saddle multiple winners in all manner of big races in Ireland, the United Kingdom and internationally but has an especially phenomenal record in this race. Churchill made it 11 wins for O’Brien, all but one of which came in association with Ballydoyle, the training arm of the powerful Coolmore Stud.

Chart Showing the Trainers of Irish 2000 Guineas Winners Between 1997 and 2018

Ballydoyle’s incredible success in the Irish 2000 Guineas means that each of Ryan Moore, Joseph O’Brien and Johnny Murtagh have ridden multiple winners. Any modern jockey will do very well to match the record of five wins which is jointly held by Tommy Burns Sr. and Martin Quirke though. Their 10 combined wins began with Burns’ success in the very first Irish 2000 Guineas and ended with another Burns win in 1948.

Classy Winners Rarely Missed by the Bookies

Picking the winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas isn’t quite as simple as backing an Aidan O’Brien horse. Punters have a lot of previous stats and trends to go on though, with the most helpful surrounding recent performances. Having a run inside three weeks of making the trip to the Curragh is a prerequisite whilst the vast majority of recent winners ran at Newmarket last time out.

When it comes to previous wins, punters should side with horses who have already got the job done over at least 7 furlongs. This is a Group 1 race for top class, specialist milers though, so those three-year-olds who have won over longer than 1 mile should be viewed with caution.

Of course, racing fans are well aware of the importance of proven high class form over a mile as are the bookies which is why those at the top of the betting have such a good record in the Irish 2000 Guineas. It’s very rare for the favourite to finish outside of the places and also rare for winners to be priced over 5/1.

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