The first Classic of the Irish flat season takes place on Saturday, as a talented field of colts battles it out in the Irish 2000 Guineas. Ireland's version of this fabled Classic was first held at the Curragh back in 1921 and it's a Charlie Appleby raider who currently dominates the betting for this year's renewal.
We've taken a look at the likely runners in this year's Irish 2000 Guineas
and picked out our best betting tips.
2022 Irish 2000 Guineas Odds
*Odds taken on 18/5/22*
2022 Irish 2000 Guineas Entries
Native Trail's unbeaten run was ended by stablemate Coroebus in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. Charlie Appleby's star will now return to the Curragh, the scene of his National Stakes triumph last September, and Native Trail is currently best priced at 2/5 to return to winning ways.
Buckaroo ran out an impressive winner of the Tetrarch Stakes here at the Curragh three weeks ago, and Joseph O'Brien's star sits prominently in this Classic market. Aidan O'Brien could be represented by Ivy League, who was beaten in Group Three company last time out, and The Acropolis, who was last seen finishing ninth in the French 2000 Guineas last weekend.
Jim Bolger's pair of Boundless Ocean
and Wexford Native
feature in the Irish Guineas Festival
betting. Other possible runners include Ger Lyon's Atomic Jones
, Dermot Weld's Duke De Sessa
, Andrew Balding's raider Imperial Fighter
and Mick O’Callaghan's Malex.
2022 Irish 2000 Guineas Tips
There's little point trying to get Native Trail beat in this Classic. Charlie Appleby's charge ran up to his mark when second to Coroebus at Newmarket. The favourite sits 11 points clear of his closest rival in the ratings and he's a proven winner on this track.
Barring something calamitous, Native Trail will win the 2022 Irish 2000 Guineas and, given the strength of the favourite, there's a chance we could see a small field line up against him. If we do get more than eight runners and the bookies payout on the first three places, I'd advise an each way bet on the other British raider, IMPERIAL FIGHTER.
Andrew Balding's colt ran well in several big juvenile races last season. Imperial Fighter placed second to Royal Patronage in the Acomb Stakes, followed Coroebus home in the Autumn Stakes and was only beaten two lengths when fifth behind Luxembourg in the Vertem Futurity Trophy.
David Probert's mount went off as the favourite for the Burradon Stakes on his reappearance. Having taken a good while to settle, Imperial Fighter found himself wedged in on the rail behind the leaders with two furlongs to travel. By the time Balding's runner found open-air, Checkandchallenge had flown the nest, but I was pleased with the way Imperial Fighter hit the line back in third.
Balding decided to bypass the British 2000 Guineas in favour of a trip to the Curragh. Buckaroo aside, I'm not worried about any of the other Irish entrants in this Classic. You can currently get 50/1 on Imperial Fighter with Paddy Power
. I'll take a slice of that now as, if Balding does confirm his runner in the field, I fancy he'll go off at a much shorter price on the day of the race.