The Irish 2000 Guineas (Group 1)

The rain will have well got into the ground when post time arrives for Ireland’s first Group 1. Yielding to soft will make this a stamina test for these young milers.

Before the English equivalent the fear in the Kingman camp was that it would come up too firm at Newmarket. With no such fears here and at first glance looking at the opposition you would be forgiven for thinking the market has got it right to send John Gosden’s colt off a shade of odds on. The depth in behind measures little in comparison to Kingman’s reputation and now after the English Guineas that reputation has been enhanced.

A very unsatisfactory race may have produced three very good colts.

They split in two groups with Kingman delivering his challenge on the far side. He looked to be getting into top gear when driven towards the line only to find Night Of Thunder sluice past him who then drifted all the way across the track to nearly collide with the horse coming up the near side, the eventual third Australia. Had they raced together it might well have been different. The best horse won the race but in the prep the Greenham it was Kingman who hampered Night Of Thunder 4 1/2 Ls. Fourth across the line was Shifting Power stalemate of the winner whom Richard Hannon hopes can give him a two out of two in Guineas.

The home challenge is led by Mustajeeb for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen. He took on the older horses in the Amethyst Stakes beating Brendan Bracken rated 112 easily by 2 1/2 Ls. Dermot had no hesitation in nominating this as his next target. Big Time from the John Joe Murphy yard had three runs as a juvenile winning first time out beating Fountain Of Youth and then going down a 1/2 L to Surdiman in the Railway Stakes and the Phoenix Stakes where he had War Command back in third. Ger Lyons sends Obliterator for Qatar Racing. He only had the one run last year winning at the Curragh and one this year when beaten 7 L s by True Story in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket. He looked to have found the pace of the race at Newmarket a little on the quick side and the mile trip here might prove a touch too sharp.

Aidan O’Brien is mob handed with five running.

War Command was strongly fancied at Newmarket but didn’t feature doing no better than 9th when running in the group on the near side. A very talented two year old and winner of the Dewhurst Stakes winner he should not be discounted from doing a Power who bounced back from a 37 L last at Newmarket to win at the Curragh two years ago.

Seamus Heffernan gets the leg up on Great White Eagle suggesting he’s the second string while the booking’s of Micheal Hussey on Johann Strauss, Colm O’Donoghue on Michaelmas and Fran Berry on Fountain Of Youth suggest pace making roles.

Surely not in the case of the Johann Strauss who is a horse who could benefit hugely from the confidence booster he recieved from winning at Dundalk recently. He ran second in the Racing Post Trophy on soft last year looking like a colt of the future. He was unlucky running second first time out at Leopardstown this year and then didn’t feature when sent to Newmarket for the Tattersalls Millions Three Year Old Trophy. The Dundalk win may sharpen the attitude.

It was at Tattersalls Book 1 Sale in 2012 when Pattern spent a million sterling on 5 horses (albeit fictitiously) with the express aim on winning a classic in 2014. Our first horse goes to post today. Purchased for £110 grand Johann Strauss will get all our money back and then some even if’s it’s only got the same value as the monopoly type.

Where’s the dance floor?

Recommendation : Johann Strauss 40/1 ew


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