Dubawi, Mastercraftsman, Canford Cliffs, Kingman, Gleneagles, Churchill and Siskin. Those are just some of the names on the illustrious Irish 2000 Guineas roll of honour. The 2021 renewal is pencilled in for this Saturday and it promises to be another spell-binding contest.
We’ll have horse racing tips for all of Saturday’s action, including meetings at Goodwood, Haydock, Newmarket and York. If you want the inside track for the Irish 2000 Guineas, however, then look no further. From the key trends, to the key contenders, here’s myracing’s preview and our 9-1 tip!
Irish 2000 Guineas Key Contenders
Lucky Vega (Shane Foley, Jessica Harrington)
Very smart juvenile, winning the Group 1 Phoenix on his third career outing. Ended the campaign with narrow defeats in National Stakes and Middle Park, hinting he needed further on both occasions. That was proved correct on return, when he stormed into third in the 2000 Guineas. Thoroughly unexposed as a miler and holds an obvious chance if building on that.
Wembley (Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien)
First string for Ballydoyle on jockey bookings. Just the one win from seven starts thus far, but he was placed in a pair of seven-furlong Group 1 races to close out his juvenile campaigns. Ran very poorly in the 2000 Guineas on return, with O’Brien stating he didn’t handle the track on good to firm ground. Softer ground should help and he’s impossible to rule out on his best form.
Poetic Flare (Kevin Manning, Jim Bolger)
Group 3 winner on his final juvenile start and confirmed that promise on return with Listed success at Leopardstown. Despite proving keen early, he held on gamely win the 2000 Guineas subsequently before a sixth in the French equivalent, where the race didn’t pan out to suit. Needs a strong pace to chase and this is his third run in a short period of time. Has his chance but others perhaps appeal more this time.
Battleground (Wayne Lordan, Aidan O’Brien)
Enjoyed a strong two-year-old campaign, winning the Vintage at Glorious Goodwood before an unlucky defeat at the Breeders’ Cup. Subject of a big gamble in the 2000 Guineas but dropped out tamely, reportedly not handling the track. Still retains plenty of potential as a miler and his juvenile form gives him an obvious chance.
Van Gogh (Seamie Heffernan, Aidan O’Brien)
Kept very busy last season, getting his day in the sun with a Group 1 victory in France to end his two-year-old campaign. Another who disappointed in the 2000 Guineas, however, having made no telling impression. He may have needed the run and he’s bred to excel over the mile and beyond. Has to be respected and should have more to offer, but a few questions to answer.
Irish 2000 Guineas Trends
- 8/10 – Had run at least once that season
- 7/10 – Rated 112 or higher
- 5/10 – Won by Aidan O’Brien
- 5/10 – Previous Group 1 winner
- 4/10 – Sent off favourite
- 2/10 – Won at double-figure odds
The Irish 2000 Guineas, unsurprisingly, is a race that is usually won by a highly-rated performer. Even in the two instances where a bigger-priced horse has landed the spoils, the horses were rated 112 and 107. Speaking of prices, this isn’t a race for favourites either. Only four of the last 10 have obliged and three of them were odds-on.
Aidan O’Brien is the master of the race and a victory in 2021 would give him a remarkable 12th renewal. He has three chances, though all of them need to bounce back from flops in the 2000 Guineas, albeit they had excuses.
Ultimately, in terms of trends, you’re looking for an Aidan O’Brien horses who isn’t the favourite, is rated higher than 112 and has previously won a Group 1. In that case, Van Gogh is the 2021 trends pick.
myracing’s 9-1 tip
The horse for us is the Jim Bolger trained Mac Swiney, one of two from the stable in the colours of Mrs J S Bolger. He was progressive as a juvenile and ended the campaign with a heavy ground victory in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity. Winning that in great style, ten furlongs on better ground ultimately wasn’t his optimum scenario when finishing a held fourth on return.
That was still a run full of promise, however, and today should provide him with his ideal test. The rain has come just in time for him and he’s almost certain to be granted a strong pace to chase. Totally unexposed as a miler, he looks set to run a massive race under Rory Cleary.