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Ginger Joe - The Irish 1000 Guineas 2024 - Runner By Runner Guide

Publish Date: 25/05/2024
Fact checked by: James Leeland
Key Points
  • A preview of the 2024 Irish 1000 Guineas
  • My runner-by-runner guide and verdict
  • Will Opera Singer bring an 11th victory for Aiden O’Brien?

The 2024 Irish 1000 Guineas - The Curragh, Sunday 26 May - 15:45

As promised, we’re moving on to my runner-by-runner guide for the Irish 1000 Guineas, and there is an absolutely cracking 14 runner field due to line up for this year's renewal.

Aiden O'Brien is certainly looking to win this for the 11th time, and he has a string of four fillies in this race, which include the current market favourite Opera Singer. She is a very impressive looking filly who simply got better and better as a two-year-old and she certainly sets a high standard here.

However, I've found one at a double-figure price that may well have improved enough to give Opera Singer a real race on Sunday. Whatever happens, with so much class on show, this race is set to be red hot, so don’t miss it.

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A Lilac Rolla @ 10/1

A Lilac Rolla is one of two fillies representing Paddy Twomey and certainly deserves her place in this lineup. She won both of her two-year-old starts, beating current favourite Opera Singer when the pair met at the Curragh last August. She then came out and won on her first start as a three-year-old over 7 furlongs and looks worth a crack at this longer trip. She will need to improve a tad more to win this, but I fully expect her to put in a good effort here.

Alpheratz @ 25/1

Alpheratz is an interesting filly and she has shown a fair level of ability at times. However, we’ve only seen her on very soft or heavy ground and it remains to be seen whether or not she will be as effective on a faster surface. Her breeding suggests she will be, as her sire Phoenix Of Stars certainly was, so it’s not outside the realms of possibility that she could get competitive and we know she stays the trip. As to whether she is good enough in this company, I’m not entirely sure, but it will be interesting to see how she gets on nonetheless.

Azada @ 12/1

Azada has received strong support all week for this race and she could be anything really. She won her only start at Leopardstown last year in a maiden and looked very impressive in the process. She seems to have bags of potential, but I am concerned she comes here after only one run, considering that most of the fillies in this field have far more experience.

Bluedrum @ 33/1

Bluedrum represents the Harrington team. She is a very likeable filly who won nicely on debut last year, but was a little underwhelming on her first start this season, which gives me cause for concern about her chances at this level. I think she will likely fall short here, so perhaps one for the future rather than in this particular.

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Buttons @ 8/1

Buttons is one of four Ballydoyle representatives here and she is a very solid type who is gradually improving, but I would personally be disappointed if she proved good enough to win this race. I also think the mile trip is too short for her and we will see the best of her when she goes up in distance. Buttons is way too short in the betting for the credentials she offers.

Everlasting @ 20/1

Everlasting probably isn’t good enough to go on and win this race, but she will definitely stay the trip, which is a big plus and she is still on the upgrade. She will certainly need to find more to get in the mix here, but deserves her place in the lineup.

Fallen Angel @ 5/1

Fallen Angel didn’t have the best experience in the English 1000 Guineas, but still only finished four lengths back off Elmalka. She has clearly trained on as a three-year-old, and has a very good chance here if she can bring her best form to the Curragh. She got a little bit over excited before the English version so I’d want to see her settle better, but she is open to more improvement and should get very competitive here.

Finsceal Luas @ 66/1

Finsceal Luas is a nice horse in her own right, but she is way down the ratings and would need to show some drastic improvement to even get close to the places here. I can’t help but feel she’s simply making up the numbers here, and has it all to do.

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Opera Singer @ 9/4

Opera Singer is a filly I am a big fan of, she just seems to improve every time she runs and you can’t fail to be impressed by what this filly has done so far. She had a fine two-year-old season, which she capped off with an empathic win in the Marcel Boussac. She is unbeaten over a mile, and is the only course and distance winner in the race, which is a huge plus point. She sets a clear standard in this race and any amount of improvement at all would see her extremely hard to beat in my opinion.

Pearls And Rubies @ 25/1

Pearls And Rubies was largely disappointing as a two-year-old. However, she did manage to finish off her season with a big run, placing second to Porta Fortuna at Newmarket and perhaps that was a slight turning point for her. She is unraced beyond 7 furlongs, which poses a question mark, but after multiple defeats over shorter trips last season, she could be worth a go at the mile. In my opinion she is short on ability to get competitive at this level, but more than entitled to take her chance.

Purple Lily @ 10/1

Purple Lily is an intriguing contender here and I believe she is the biggest threat in the lineup. She won her first two starts for Paddy Twomey, beating Portland over the mile on her second start, and she saw out the trip really well. She then stepped up to a mile and a quarter, where she was only just touched off by Ezeliya in a Group 3, which is pretty strong form over the extended trip. The drop back to a mile will suit her perfectly, and I expect her to play a real prominent role on Sunday. A real strong contender who has gone under the radar at a double-figure price.

Queen Of Thunder @ 100/1

Queen Of Thunder is a very nice horse in her own right, but her two-year-old form doesn’t stack up to anywhere near this level and we haven’t seen her run yet as a three-year-old either. Impossible to fancy her here.

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Skellet @ 12/1

Skellet is taking her first run of the season here for Ralph Beckett, and she really is a bit of an unknown quantity. She had some good form over 7 furlongs as a two-year-old and the step up to a mile shouldn’t be an issue for her. I think she showed enough promise last season to give her a chance, but you need to take her progression on trust, this being her first start as a three-year-old. However, she’s a nice type who could well outrun her odds.

Vespertilio @ 6/1

Vespertilio is one of the most intriguing runners in this field, after running a blinder in the Emirates Group 1 at Longchamp earlier this month and a repeat effort would see her go very close indeed. That was her first start over a mile, and she clearly thrived over the longer trip, making her a worthy opponent at Group 1 level. She has a mark of 113, which puts her up there with the best in this race, and she should make her presence felt if she can back up her recent run.

The GJ Verdict

I am very much looking forward to the Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday and I suspect that we might be about to see a superstar emerging. Vespertilio sets a really high standard. She has already had a decent run in a Group 1 this year, which is a distinct advantage and she handles these conditions. To me, she is the most solid horse in the race and I think she will get very competitive indeed.

Ballydoyle’s Opera Singer seems the obvious choice here based on her two-year-old form, but she’ll need to be fully tuned up to win first time out, and Ballydoyle’s form is questionable at present. Anyway, I’m going to take a chance on Purple Lily, for the Patrick Twomey yard. She’s a strong traveller, who has shown us plenty of gears, and the drop back to a mile should be perfect for her. I think she will be the last to come off the bridle here and is more than capable of outpacing all of them.

My 1-2-3 prediction for the Irish 1000 Guineas

  1. Purple Lily
  2. Opera Singer
  3. Vespertilio

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