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Overnight rain strengthens Weld’s claims in 2000 Guineas

In the last 10 years only one horse has managed to win the Irish 2000 Guineas having finished second or third in the English equivalent. Only three have managed to even to place.

 

The John Gosden trained Kingman will bid to better his admirable second at Newmarket with victory at the Curragh on Saturday and the current 4/5 chance brings a wealth of stable confidence with him to the County Kildare track.  

 

Kingman looked a star juvenile following his six length maiden win at Newmarket on debut and followed up with victory in the Group 3 Solario Stakes in August. The son of Invincible Spirit proved his well being on his reappearance as a three-year-old, recording a facile victory in the Greenham Stakes. He beat the eventual English 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder by an eased down four and a half lengths on that occasion but lost his unbeaten record in the English Classic, collared close home by the reposing Night Of Thunder.

 

Nine of the last ten winners of this race had their previous start in the English Guineas and a reproduction of Kingman’s latest effort should make him tough to beat here. He showed a potent turn of foot at the two furlong pole in Newmarket and weather he just idled in front or he didn’t quite see out the mile trip remains to be seen.

 

The current 4/5 about Kingman is not an appealing price especially on ground that looks like being softer than ideal for the colt but even on this stiffer track he should prove too strong for this field.  

 

Shifting Power adds to the forcible English presence in the race having been supplemented by Richard Hannon following his fourth in the English equivalent. The stiffer track and an emphasis on stamina is likely to bring out the best in him but the 5.6mm of rain the track had overnight will do his chances no good, having done all his racing to date on fast ground. 

 

 

It is 1986 since Dermot Weld won the Irish 2000 Guineas with Flash Of Steel but in Mustajeeb he looks to hold a solid chance of adding to that tally. The son of Nayef broke his maiden in Galway on just his second start and ended the season with a three length defeat to War Command in the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh. The colt showed his current well being however under patient tactics in the Amethyst Stakes,putting in a strong visual performance to get the better of some older horses.

 

 

He has three lengths to find on War Command on their two-year-old form but the softer ground will play to his strengths and he comes into the race with the confidence of an impressive victory behind him.

 

 

Aidan O’Brien will bid for his tenth Irish 2000 Guineas, his fourth in a row and his sixth in seven years on Saturday. Coventry Stakes winner War Command – three horses that have attempted the double following their Ascot victory have been successful – looks the Ballydoyle first string and suffered only one defeat in his juvenile season. The son of War Front started 2014 with a below par ninth in the English 2000 Guineas and connections have applied cheekpieces for Saturdays event in an attempt to sharpen him up.

 

 

There are three negatives against War Commands chances – the recent rainfall will not suit having been bred by a speed preferred sire, he has a bad draw coming from stall 10 – only one winner in past 10 years has been drawn higher than stall six – and he has plenty of ground to make up on Kingman going by the Newmarket run.

 

 

Giving O’Brien’s record in the race and the fact that his horses generally improve massively for their first run, it is not hard to envisage a much improved effort from War Command. The 9-1 offered by some firms looks generous but again the 5.6mm of rain the track had overnight, changing the going to yielding to soft may just have hindered his chances.

 

Selection: Mustajeeb E/W – 7/1 with Boylesports

 

By Joseph Smyth

24/05/14

 


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