The Irish 2000 Guineas takes place on Saturday May 26th and in the past few days, there has been plenty of support for Jim Bolger’s Parish Hall (best price 4.50, Boylesports and others). But the new favourite for the Irish classic is coming back from a lengthy lay off of 231 days – could there be a better priced, fitter alternative in the 2000 Guineas field?
The Irish 2000 Guineas was established in 1921 as Ireland’s equivalent to the England classic, which is run at Newmarket. The race traditionally takes place three weeks after the English 2000 Guineas and often features many of the same faces that lined up in England.
The Irish 2000 Guineas is held at the Curragh and many of the best performing horses will head over to England later in the season for Royal Ascot, in particular the St. James’s Palace Stakes.
As usual, we’ll take a look at recent winners of the race and attempt to pick out any important trends that may emerge. These can then be applied to the 2012 field, in order to thin it out.
- All of the past 10 winners of the Irish 2000 Guineas had raced once or twice that season
- All of the past 10 Irish 2000 winners had run in the 21 days leading up to the Guineas
Based on these trends, we need to be looking for a horse that is race sharp, not one that is coming back from a lengthy lay off. Furthermore, we can give preference to those horses that ran in the English equivalent of the race at Newmarket, as all of the last ten Irish 2000 Guineas winners had run in the English classic (three of them won it).
- 9 of the last 10 Irish 2000 Guineas winners had finished in the first four of a Group One
- 8 of the past 10 winners had won first time out as a two year old
- All of the last 10 winners had taken part in between four and eight career races
The first and second trends suggest that a certain amount of class and ability are required to land the Irish 2000 Guineas. Furthermore, all of the last eight winners of the Irish 2000 Guineas came to the Curragh having already finished in the first four of a Group One, while six of the last 10 had already managed to win one.
The third trend suggests that we should be looking to a more lightly raced type, but not one that is so lightly raced as to potentially be too inexperienced.
- All of the last ten Irish 2000 Guineas winners were born before the 9th of April
- 8 of the past 10 winners had been sired by a Group One winning horse
Preference is for the more mature horses when choosing our 2012 Irish 2000 Guineas bets, as all ten of the last ten winners were born before April 9th, while a Group One winning sire also looks to be an advantage.
By applying these trends to the 2012 Irish 2000 Guineas field, there is only one contender with the right profile – Aidan O’Brien’s Power.
The colt finished 17th of the 18 runners in the Newmarket classic earlier in the month, but I’m not overly concerned by that. In the past ten years, the likes of Indian Haven, Bachelor Duke and more recently, Roderic O’Connor, have all finished way down the field at Newmarket before winning at the Curragh.
As well as meeting the key trends, Power has the added advantage of having a good record at the course, having scored three times and finished second from his four races at the Irish 2000 Guineas venue – one of those wins coming in a Group One race.
The Irish 2000 Guineas
Saturday 26th May 2012, 15:15