Irish 2000 Guineas Tips: Trail will be hard to beat but Jones looks overpriced

The Irish 2000 Guineas gives Charlie Appleby's Native Trail a chance to redeem his Newmarket second
The Irish 2000 Guineas gives Charlie Appleby's Native Trail a chance to redeem his Newmarket second

Unlike Sunday's 1000 Guineas, the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh looks to be a one horse race. Native Trail was last year's star juvenile and found only stablemate Coroebus too good at Newmarket in the English equivalent of this race. He faces neither that rival nor Luxembourg the third here and so is priced prohibitively short for Classic success. Billy Grimshaw obviously respects the favourite's chance but thinks he has found one to follow him home that is worth backing each-way and in any without markets that appear...

Native Trail lost absolutely nothing in defeat to his stablemate Coroebus at Newmarket at the start of this month in the English 2000 Guineas, with his performance being confirmed as top class by sectional analysts and visual judges alike in the aftermath. The winner is undoubtedly the top dog in the miling division at the moment but there is a case to be made that Native Trail could at least have gotten closer if the draw had been kinder to the favourite on the day. It was a high class renewal of the race and Native Trail's performance in second, along with that of Luxembourg in third, could have been enough to win a more average renewal.

With all this in mind and the credit Native Trail built up in his juvenile campaign, it would be a brave punter to back against the Godolphin representative outright in this contest against horses who on all known form are vastly inferior to him. Only a blow out should see Appleby's charge beaten, but Buckaroo for Joseph O'Brien is certainly no mug. The second favourite was just touched off in the Ballysax by many people's Derby fancy Piz Badile and made short work of the reopposing Wexford Native on his next start on May 2nd when scoring by four lengths. The market seems to think he is most likely to trouble Native Trail, with all the other colts into double figures on the odds grids. 

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Ivy League is the shortest priced Aidan O'Brien runner at 14/1, and there can't be many Classics in recent years that the master of Ballydoyle has had his supposed first string at such long odds. The Galileo colt only made his debut back in March and has shown steady if unspectacular progress, but a repeat of his second to Pretreville last time out would surely not be enough to contend here. The aforementioned Wexford Native is another O'Brien representative but was put firmly in his place by Buckaroo last time out and I would expect those placings to be confirmed again.

Duke De Sessa, Malex, Imperial Fighter and New Energy are wildly priced and look like they are in the race to fight for some place money, with Andrew Balding sending Imperial Fighter after a disappointing all-weather reappearance at Newcastle. He was only 2 and a half lengths back in the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes last season at Doncaster but this should be a stretch too far to trouble Native Trail.

The one I like for an each-way play, possible forecasts and in the without market is ATOMIC JONES for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane. This is still a fairly unexposed colt, with the son of Wootton Bassett having the scalp of Stone Age, now second favourite for The Derby, in his juvenile season on his CV. He was no match for the Ballydoyle brute on his seasonal reappearance over a mile and two at Leopardstown, however his running style has marked him out to me as more of a miler so the stretching out in trip seemed ill advised. He met trouble in running that day and although it is clear he wouldn't have got close to the runaway leader, I do believe he was the second best horse in the race.

Back over a more favourable trip for this Classic, I expect to see Atomic Jones racing prominently in this Curragh contest and if he still has more potential to improve due to his inexperience I can see him finishing at least ahead of the rest of the pack and being the one to chase Native Trail home.

Irish 2000 Guineas
Atomic Jones silk

Atomic Jones (EW)

Today's Racing Tips
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