Irish 2,000 Guineas Preview



Newmarket 3rd Lucky Vega heads the market as the 11/4 favourite for Saturday’s Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh. Himself, Poetic Flare and Master Of The Seas all drew well clear of the field in the Newmarket contest that day with the Jim Bolger-trained Poetic Flare coming out on top.

Lucky Vega has every right to take his chance again here having gone down so valiantly at Newmarket but Master Of The Seas is a very notable absentee having given Poetic Flare most to think about that day.

Poetic Flare then attempted to follow up in the French equivalent last weekend but the son of Dawn Approach wasn’t able to land a blow with St Mark’s Basilica pulling away stylishly for the team at Ballydoyle.

Despite not hitting the frame that run wasn’t without promise, having looked to be floundering 2 furlongs from home, the colt found another gear in the closing stages and was able to finish a very credible 6th. After a monumental effort in the English 2,000, I thought it was a cracking run after what was a pretty quick turnaround. I was expecting him to be put away for Royal Ascot after that but he must be bouncing at home as Bolger thinks he’s ready to take on this just seven days after his excursions in France.

I really do believe he’s a very good horse but given this will be his third run in as many weeks, I have to take him on and I’m going to be siding with WEMBLEY again - despite having been oh so disappointing on the Rowley Mile...

As alluded to earlier, St Mark’s Basilica did plenty of good for this colt’s 2-year-old form and I still think the Dewhurst is the standout piece of form on offer. There’s still a question as to whether he has definitely trained on from two to three but I’m willing to take a chance on the likelihood that he has.

In general, O’Brien’s colts, for whatever reason this season, have taken a run or two to really come to themselves and with all three, Wembley, Battleground and Van Gogh all having hugely underwhelmed that last day, it’s very conceivable that they’ll be much better propositions come this weekend.

There was plenty of money for Battleground before the off that day so I can only assume they were as shocked as I was with his performance and Wembley was a fairly warm order on the morning line before equally disappointing. There was a glimpse of promise from Wembley that day just after the 3-furlong marker. As everything around him seemed to be paddling, the colt seemed to be responding to Ryan Moore's urges and I fully expected him to get involved in the finish before fading badly late on.

I expect a much improved performance this weekend and I really hope he can do the business for the Ballydoyle team.

I also think that The Rosstafarian is capable of going well at a big price. He finished a staying on 5th behind Master Of The Seas in the Craven Stakes on just his third start. Was only just touched off in Listed company as a 2-year-old and he could progress into a really smart performer. Colin Keane in the plate, could outrun his odds!

Selection: WEMBLEY

One To Watch: THE ROSSTAFARIAN

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