A field of 11 colts will chase glory at the Curragh on Saturday in the €500,000 Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.
The prospect of a second British-trained winner of Ireland’s opening Classic race in as many years is enhanced by a hefty challenge from across the Irish Sea, headed by the English 2,000 Guineas runner-up Hi Royal. The Kevin Ryan-trained son of Kodiac belied odds of 125/1 at Newmarket to chase home Chaldean with those closest behind him, Royal Scotsman and Galeron also bound for the Curragh. The Paul and Oliver Cole-trained Royal Scotsman was supplemented into Saturday’s race on Tuesday and will be piloted on this occasion by Jamie Spencer, while Charlie Hills has booked Ireland’s champion jockey Colin Keane for Galeron.
Hi Royal will once again be ridden by former British champion jockey Oisín Murphy, with the proud Kerry native seeking a first winner in the saddle at Irish racing’s headquarters. Murphy is excited about the possibility of Hi Royal giving him a first Irish Classic success.
“I have never ridden a winner at the Curragh,” said Murphy today after his engagement at the Home of the Classics was confirmed. “I’ve been second before so it would be lovely to break my duck this weekend. “Hi Royal apparently has come out of Newmarket very well. I’ve a lot of respect for Royal Scotsman, who I just finished in front of in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas but Hi Royal is a straightforward horse and I’m sure he’ll give his running. “This meeting has a lot of history.
I grew up watching the 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on RTÉ so to be riding one of the favourites in the race is really nice. It’s a great feeling and I want to make the most of it.” Further British interest in the one-mile colts’ Classic comes from the Roger Varian-trained Charyn, who will be ridden by Curragh-raised jockey David Egan. The home challenge is headed by Paddington, who along with Cairo will bid to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a first Irish 2,000 Guineas triumph since Churchill in 2017. One of their main rivals will be Proud And Regal, trained by O’Brien’s youngest son Donnacha, while Jessica Harrington will saddle Bold Discovery and Quar Shamar. The field is completed by the Luke Comer-trained Alexander John.
Oisín Murphy has an opportunity to register his maiden Curragh success ahead of the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas as he partners the Tim Easterby-trained Art Power in the Group 2 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes.
Twice a winner at the track, Art Power is among eight declared for the six-furlong sprint as the Charlie Hills-trained Garrus heads the field with Michael O’Callaghan’s Twilight Jet topping the local challenge.
Of his mount, Murphy added this morning: “Art Power won at the Curragh last season and the season before so hopefully he can keep up that good form at the track.”
Elsewhere on the card, six runners, five of which are debut winners, contest the GAIN Marble Hill Stakes. The Group 3 has thrown up some good winners in the past and the Aidan O’Brien duo, Democracy and His Majesty, take on Willie Browne’s Buyin Buyin, the Jessica Harrington-trained Givemethebeatboys and Paddy Twomey’s Cork winner Noche Magica. Adrian Murray has booked Colin Keane for Valiant Force, the colt who was second to His Majesty on debut.
An intriguing field of seven go to post for the FBD Hotels and Resorts Orby Stakes, while there are 15 declared for the Finlay Volvo Handicap and the same number of runners engaged in the Novibet Guineas Festival Handicap. A fascinating day of racing will begin with the seven runner Tally Ho Stud EBF Maiden.
Additional information ahead of the Tattersalls Irish Guineas Weekend
Friday 1st race 4.50pm last race 8.30pm
Saturday 1st race 1.20pm last race 5.25pm
Sunday 1st race 1.45pm last race 5.25pm
The ground at the Curragh is currently good (selective watering). Warm & dry forecast with high temperatures
Trains to Kildare and Newbridge with free shuttle bus to and from races. Free Shuttle Bus from the Square in Kildare Town and outside Eddie Rockets Restaurant, Main Street in Newbridge
Expressway service from Dublin City Centre (and Red Cow Luas Stop) – see expressway.ie
Free Car Parking
Friday All races live on Racing TV
Saturday RTE Television coverage with five races live (2nd to 5th races) and all races live on Racing TV. ITV4 To Show Irish 2000 Guineas LIVE On Saturday From The Curragh
Sunday RTE Television coverage with five races live (2nd to 5th races) and all races live on Racing TV
Admission (at entrance)
Friday €20 Saturday €30 Sunday €30
Concessions for Seniors
Under 18s free, accompanied by an adult
Special offers available to purchase on line at www.curragh.ie including Curragh Bundle
Hospitality and Dining
Limited number of packages still available for purchase
Naas Hospital Choir to welcome racegoers and the post-race party will be with Abbaesque live on stage
Newbridge Gospel Choir to welcome racegoers and post-race party will be with Nite Train.
There is also the Moyglare Kids Zone with free activities for younger racegoers
Newbridge Gospel Choir to welcome racegoers. Prize for the Best Dressed to include a luxury stay in the magnificent Cashel Palace Hotel with transport from Finlay Volvo and a magnum of Moet Imperial Brut.
There is also the Moyglare Kids Zone with free activities for younger racegoers including Wooly Farm, Imagination Station and Face Painting.