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Ginger Joe - The Irish 2000 Guineas 2024 - Runner By Runner Guide

Publish Date: 24/05/2024
Fact checked by: James Leeland
Key Points
  • A preview of the 2024 Irish 2000 Guineas
  • My runner-by-runner guide and verdict
  • Rosallion is odds on favourite to win at the Curragh

The 2024 Irish 2000 Guineas - The Curragh, Saturday 25 May - 15:40

It’s Irish Guineas weekend over at the Curragh, and we have some fantastic racing to get stuck into. For today’s article, I’m taking a close look at the 2024 Irish 2000 Guineas and I have a full runner-by-runner guide for you.

Rosallion heads the betting, after finishing runner up to Notable Speech in the Qipco 2000 Guineas earlier this month, and he is going to be very hard to beat if he can repeat that effort here at the Curragh. He ran really well at Newmarket and it will take a huge performance to get past him, but this is a very classy field with some serious contenders, so it’s not exactly cut and dried.

Next up, I’ll be bringing you my runner-by-runner guide for the Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that.

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Atlantic Coast @ 40/1

Atlantic Coast is Joseph O’Brien’s contender. He is a smashing type and still has possibilities as he steps back up to a mile. He won a Group 3 to finish off his two-year-old season, where he beat Bright Stripes by a nose and was game all the way to the line. He was disappointing on his first start as a three-year-old, finishing 21 lengths off the winner, so he is up against it here, but certainly not out of contention based on his two-year-old form. Joseph O’Brien has already stated that his main target will be the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, so he might show us plenty here and it will be interesting to see how he gets on.

Bright Stripes @ 40/1

Bright Stripes finished a nose behind Atlantic Coast when they met at Leopardstown last season, but disappointed on his three-year-old debut. However, did turn that form around next time at the Curragh on his first start over a mile. He only won by a length, but I was suitably impressed by his performance and the fact that he beat Ballydoyle’s highly-regarded prospect Samuel Colt. He will need to come on again, but we already know he sees out the mile, which is a major positive. Bright Stripes is one to keep on side for the future, but as the only course and distance winner in the field, he’s a decent each way bet too.

Haatem @ 13/2

Haatem really surprised me in the English 2000 Guineas finishing third behind Notable Speech and that was definitely an improved effort. He won the Group 3 Craven Stakes in good style to qualify for the Guineas and he is fully entitled to take his chance in the Irish version too. He was only three and a half lengths back off Notable Speech and a repeat effort would see him get competitive again. My only concern with him is that he needs to go from the front to win and unless everything goes exactly right for him, I think he will find a couple too good here.

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Mountain Bear @ 14/1

Mountain Bear is a very intriguing runner here for team Ballydoyle and he could be anything. He ran at Dundalk in October beating Battle Cry in decent style, and that one has the better of a few runners in this field already. But the best performance from Mountain Bear probably came on his last run of the season where he finished second to stablemate Unquestionable over at Santa Anita. That run over the mile could really help him on his first start of the season, and he looks open to plenty more potential. For me, he is the most intriguing runner in the race and carries place potential for sure.

River Tiber @ 10/3

River Tiber is Ballydoyle’s number one string as Aiden O’Brien seeks his 13th Irish Guineas victory. He was unbeaten on his three starts as a two-year-old, the best of which was an impressive win in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. He then ran in two Group 1s where he held the impressive Vandeek to two lengths on both starts, so his form stands up and he could easily improve again as a three-year-old. These Wootton Bassett colts have been pretty impressive and River Tiber is surely up there with the best of them, plus he’s hard to write off from such powerful connections.

Rosallion @ 10/11

Rosallion is the short-priced favourite here, and rightly so after his runner up effort in the English 2000 Guineas. He is a powerful traveller and was strong all the way through the line at Newmarket, so any sort of repeat effort would make him hard to beat. His turn of foot as a two-year-old was awesome and he capped off his two-year-old season by beating Unquestionable at Longchamp by a length. He is the highest rated runner in the field and has clearly trained on nicely, so he deserves to be the leading contender here.

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Take Me To Church @ 66/1

Take Me To Church is the outsider in the field. He has done his fair share of winning, but at a much lower level. He is entitled to line up, and I’m sure he will run his race once again, but that won’t be enough to see him to get competitive in this contest.

Unquestionable @ 13/2

Unquestionable is yet another contender for the Ballydoyle team. He only has a length to find with Rosallion and was last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner. We haven’t seen him run yet this season, so he comes here fresh and it will be interesting to see how he has matured over the winter. He would need to improve a bit on his two-year-old form to win this, but there is every chance he has considering his powerful connections and the tactics of an Irish Guineas will suit him nicely. He is another smart Wootton Bassett colt that has potential to do and I see him right in the mix for this.

The GJ Verdict

So how do I think the Irish 2000 Guineas will pan out? Well, we have to consider the favourite, Rosallion, who sets a very high standard. His speed is lethal and he has trained on nicely, so if he can build on his run in the English 2000 Guineas he will be tough to beat. That said, his 10/11 price tag is very short, so I’m going to take him on here.

Bright Stripes is one I think will outrun his 40/1 odds, and may be able to nick a place, especially if one or two to underperform. River Tiber could be anything on his first start as a three-year-old, and is therefore worthy of a watch, but too short to back at 10/3.

Anyway, I’m giving the nod to Unquestionable, who finished second to Rosallion at Longchamp, then went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where he put on quite the performance. To win a prestigious race like that on his first try over the mile proves that he has plenty of ability, and he’s likely to come here even stronger for his first run as a three-year-old.

My 1-2-3 prediction for the Irish 2000 Guineas

  1. Unquestionable
  2. Rosallion
  3. Bright Stripes

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