It’s Irish 1000 and 2000 Guineas time at the Curragh once again, so we’ve supped a few pints of the black stuff, shoved RTE on the auld wireless and pulled out the form book from the last decade of three-year-old fillies’ and colts’ miles at the Kildare course.
Numerous approaches will be taken in pursuit of punting profit, including current form, probable ground conditions and how the top handlers have fared in recent years – for example, Aidan O’Brien has trained five of the last six winners of the colts event and a record nine Irish 2000 Guineas winners in total.
However, the current state of the markets – particularly in the fillies showpiece – suggest the tried and tested formula of backing horses that ran well in the English Guineas barely a month ago is the order of the day.
Olly Stevens’ Lightning Thunder shares 3/1-favouritism with John Oxx’s My Titania, with the former heading to the Emerald Isle after a second-place finish behind Andre Fabre’s Miss France, who is not entered at the Curragh, back over the water.
The past two winners of the Irish 1000 Guineas had previously posted runners-up finishes over a mile at Newmarket, with last year’s champion Just The Judge just missing out in the English equivalent and 2012 victor Samitar managing a Rowley Mile second as a two-year-old.
Of the Irish 1000 Guineas winners that ran in the previous classic over the past decade, only Misty For Me in 2011 finished more than four and a half lengths off first at the Suffolk track, while Finsceal Beo and Attraction both managed an Anglo-Irish double.
The 2000 Guineas throws up a much more mixed bag, for – as with the 1000 – just two horses have won at Newmarket and the Curragh since 2004, yet of the other dual runners who triumphed in Kildare, Canford Cliffs’ third-place in England in 2010 is the only run of note.
This doesn’t bode particularly well for John Gosden’s warm 8/11 favourite Kingman, who finished half a length behind shock 40/1 winner Night of Thunder at the start of May.
With Curragh king O’Brien expected to run four in the 2000, including 6/1 third-favourite War Command, Gosden’s Irish Guineas duck may yet be intact come the weekend’s close.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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