2020 Irish 2000 Guineas Tips – 4/1 shot to expose chinks in favourite’s armour
First Irish Classic of the season to be held on Friday evening
Siskin is your ante-post favourite
We take him on with two top tips
We take a look through the field for the 2020 Irish 2000 Guineas and provide readers with our tips for the Curragh on Friday 12th June.
For the over a century, the finest three-year-old colts in Ireland have traveled to the Curragh during the first half of the season to fight it out in the Irish 2000 Guineas. Many of Ireland’s most famous flat racers have claimed this Classic prize. Horses from the UK have a strong record in the race too, with names like Kingman and Dubawi shining bright on the roll of honour.
As this year’s race will take place just six days after the British 2000 Guineas, it’s highly unlikely any British runners, or any horses who took part in that Classic at Newmarket, will make an appearance at the Curragh on Friday. Never-the-less, Irish punters can look forward to a fascinating renewal of this great race.
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Ger Lyon’s Siskin rounded off his unbeaten campaign with an attritional victory in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes last autumn. Siskin then entered the stalls to take part in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket in October, but Lyon’s star became unsettled in the stalls and was subsequently withdrawn from the running.
The betting may suggest Siskin is the one to beat on Friday, but I don’t fancy the market leader one bit. Monarch Of Egypt, who twice finished a close second to Siskin, hardly advertised his form in the Middle Park or the Dewhurst. The fact that Siskin has never even run over seven furlongs, let alone a mile, has to put a serious stamina question mark next to the favourite’s name too.
For me, Siskin is a big, fat lay!
Irish 2000 Guineas Form Guide
The task we now face is to figure out who to back. The obvious place to look would be within Aidan O’Brien’s stable, and there are no fewer than seven Ballydoyle runners sitting behind Siskin in the market.
Armory placed in three Group Ones during the autumn, the form of which has worked out well since. This stout Galileo colt is sure to have progressed during the off-season and looks perfectly suited to racing over a mile.
Vatican City has been mentioned by some, but he’s only rated 93 after winning one of his two juvenile starts, and will have had to have improved a good 20 pounds over the winter to even get involved.
Fort Myers and Lope Y Fernandes both have to be respected, but I don’t think either have the class or stamina to make an impact in a race like this. Mogul is one of my biggest fancies for the Epsom Derby, which doesn’t mean he won’t run well on Friday, but I feel there are other better suited to racing over a mile.
Shekhem went down to Innisfree by just a neck in an attritional renewal of the Beresford Stakes last autumn, and he’s a hardy stayer who shouldn’t be overlooked. Sinawann, who will also run in the famous colours of the Aga Khan, also brings good placed form to the table, having followed Mogul home in the Champion Juvenile Stakes.
Crossfirehurricane will be looking to land a four-timer, but a half-length victory over a rival rated 88 at Dundalk is hardly the form of a Classic winner. Fiscal Rules narrowly went down to Newmarket runner-up Wichita on his only career appearance to date and could be anything, but I find it hard to back any horse in a Group One who’s only made one solitary appearance.
I’m going to take on Siskin with a couple of bets at the Curragh on Friday, the first being second-favourite ARMORY.
Armory stayed on to finish ahead of Arizona in the National Stakes, and was only beaten a length by future French Guineas winner, Victor Ludorum in the Jean Luc Lagardere. Yes, he was beaten miles by Alson in the Criterium International when last season, but the weather was biblical that day and Armory never looked comfortable at any stage.
This big, scopey son of Galileo is sure to have strengthened up over the winter and the forecast deluge of rain, which is due to hit the Curragh on Wednesday, won’t do Armory’s chances any harm at all either.
For my second bet, I’m going to take a big risk and back outsider FREE SOLO. Jessica Harrington’s youngster followed Year Of The Tiger and Innisfree home on debut, before trouncing three Ballydoyle runners over a mile at Leopardstown.
Cormorant went off as the favourite that day and could only finish fourth. He then went on to finish fourth in Grade Two company, so I think Free Solo’s performance that day has to be taken very seriously. By Showcasing out of a mare spawned by Galileo, it’s safe to say there’s plenty of improvement to come from Free Solo. Whether he’s up to Classic standard, only time will tell.
2020 Irish 2000 Guineas FAQs
When will the 2020 Irish 2000 Guineas take place?
The 2020 Irish 2000 Guineas will take place at the Curragh on Friday 12th June.
Who is the favourite for the Irish 2000 Guineas?
Ger Lyon's Siskin is the current market leader.
How can I watch the Irish 2000 Guineas?
The race will be shown live on RacingTV on Friday evening. Visit our Live Streaming page to see how you can watch the race on your mobile or tablet.
I'm perfectly happy taking on Siskin, and Armory - who placed three times in Group One company last term and will see out the mile well - is the obvious option.
As this doesn't look the strongest renewal of this great Classic, I'm going to take a big punt and back the unproven but promising Free Solo each-way at a massive price.
Irish 2000 Guineas Tip 1: Armory Straight Win @400 at BetMGM - 15 Units
Irish 2000 Guineas Tip 2: Free Solo Each-Way @2500 at 888sport - 5 Units
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