The Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (3.40) takes centre stage at the Curragh on a busy afternoon on Saturday. We've taken a look at previous trends to try to help pick the winner.
With eight of the last ten winners having been rated 110 or higher it is clear you need a class horse to win this race. The two exceptions were Romanised (107) in 2018 and Awtaad (106) in 2016. Both were winning in Group company for the first time in their respective careers when successful.
This looks set to be an intriguing contest with the top-rated Royal Scotsman (118) a late entry following an arguably unlucky third in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The Donnacha O'Brien-trained Proud And Regal (112) and the Kevin Ryan-trained Hi Royal (115) are the other two who are rated 110 or above.
Five of the last ten winners were successful on their previous start, a positive for last-time-out scorers Paddington and Quar Shamar.
Native Trail (2022), Phoenix Of Spain (2019) and Kingman (2014) all finished second prior to winning this race, while 2018 scorer Romanised and 2021 victor Mac Swiney won despite finishing outside the of the first three on their most recent outing.
Eight of the last ten winners had previously scored at Group level. Royal Scotsman, Cairo, Charyn, Knight and Proud And Regal all tick that box.
Last year's winner Native Trail finished second in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket before winning this race. Hi Royal will bid to repeat that feat here.
Fitness seems crucial with eight of the last ten winners having had one or more previous runs that season. The two to buck that trend were Phoenix Of Spain and Siskin, who were both successful on their seasonal debuts. This looks a negative for Age Of Kings, who is yet to run this season.
Eight of the last ten winners had won at either 7f or a mile. The two exceptions were Romanised and Siskin, whose previous victories came over 6f.
This is a unique test that blends both speed and stamina and that is something to bear in mind with Age Of Kings, Charyn and Royal Scotsman, who have scored over shorter trips and are yet to fully prove themselves over the distance.
Unlike the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, this race is run on a turning track with the field negotiating a long right-hand bend before entering the straight. The draw, therefore, plays a crucial role.
Seven of the last ten winners were drawn in stall three or lower, with four of those scorers breaking from stall one. Nine were drawn six or lower. Romanised is the odd one out, having emerged from stall ten when triumphant in 2018.
The top-rated runner going into the race has either won or finished second in each of the last ten years. That makes Royal Scotsman the pick. He has proved he stays a mile and the return to quicker ground will also be in his favour. A previous Group winner, he will be tough to beat if granted a low draw.
Read more . . .
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