Friday, May 23, 2008

Irish 2000 Guineas

Eight runners are set to go to post for tomorrow's Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh. The first three in the English Guineas meet once again, with many commentators convinced the race is between Newmarket victor Henrythenavigator and New Approach. At the time of writing New Approach is generally 11/8 while Henrythenavigator is 7/4. Stubbs Art, a 100/1 shot at Newmarket, finished four lengths behind the principals and makes some appeal as an each-way wager in this, provided the eight take their chance. He's currently priced at 16/1; trainer David Elsworth seems quite upbeat about the horse's chance and has persuaded the owner to shell out the sizeable supplementary fee. Aidan O'Brien's Jupiter Pluvius looks a dark horse. Casting my mind back to discussion before the season's first classic, I'm sure a couple of commentators rated this horse the best of the Ballydoyle entries before his unfortunate withdrawal; he looks bred for speed, but, if he stays the trip, I think he will go close. I'm going out on a bit of a limb and will back Jupiter Pluvius to win at around 8/1 and Stubbs Art each way at 16/1 or bigger.

There's a decent jumps card at Stratford tomorrow evening, the highlight being the Champion Hunters' Chase over three and a half miles, due off at 7.20. Peter Bowen's Take The Stand will be popular but I'll look closely at Natiain; on official handicap ratings he's the one they all have to beat. Regular pilot Harry Haynes has recently turned professional, so top amateur Ollie Greenhall gets the leg-up. There's a fair chance Natiain will try to make all; in the Weekender Carl Evans reports that trainer Alistair Brown is 'quietly confident'. Natiain rates a bet at around the 4/1 mark.

Finally Coral go 6/1 Queen of the South to lift the Scottish Cup and 10/1 the Dumfries side will get the job done in ninety minutes; given Rangers' recent schedule, those prices look tempting...

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Firm ground saw the field for the 2000 Guineas cut up quite badly, with eventually just five going to post. The two principals took it in turns to carry the mantle of favourite; at the off New Approach was 11/10f and Henrythenavigator 5/4. New Approach tried to make all; Stubbs Art (20/1) threw down a challenge two out but Henrythenavigator was merely biding his time and showed a decent turn of foot to easily beat New Approach, with Stubbs Art staying on in third. If Stubbs Art has improved since Newmarket, then so have the main players, particularly Henrythenavigator. Channel 4's coverage seemed to suggest that Henrythenavigator's appearance in the Epsom Derby will be an essential to save the race from degenerating into something of a farce. Jupiter Pluvius (7/1) was disappointing, looking like a boy competing against men; he finished a well-beaten fourth.
4/1 Natiain was never available. The horse was sent off the 13/8 favourite, led to two out but was a spent force coming to the last. 12/1 shot Harlov got up in the dying strides to deny Take The Stand; Natian finished fifth.
For a short time during the second half I, along with Mrs Tips, dreamed the Queens' dream as the underdogs cancelled out Rangers' 2-0 half time lead. However, with a quarter of an hour left, Boyd scored what proved to be the winning goal for Rangers; nonetheless a brave display from the Scottish Division One side.