The Irish 2,000 Guineas (3.35, Curragh) is going to be one of the most fascinating races of the season so far and it’s understandable that Magna Grecia, an impressive winner of the 2,000 Guineas, and Too Darn Hot, last season’s Champion 2-year-old who was just beaten in the Dante, dominate the market.
They should prove too good for the rest, but it is a surprise to see Skardu so big in comparison with the pair. William Haggas’ charge showed a fine attitude and a great deal of improvement to take the Craven Stakes on just his second run, battling hard to get the better of Momkin, with the previously unbeaten Set Piece in third, and then he might well have improved on that in the Guineas when he was third, but first of the 16 horses up the middle, racing well away from the impressive winner Magna Grecia.
Timings since have put cold water on the idea of any sort of bias regarding the draw there, but he might well have done better if he’d been closer to the winner – he battled well to take the Craven – and today there shouldn’t be such a split at the Curragh here. Certainly, his Guineas run entitles him to be a tad closer to the first pairing in the market.
Too Darn Hot ran a wonderful race on his return in the Dante, when perhaps just having to make up too much ground on the very progressive Telecaster, and a stiff mile really ought to suit him if he shows the same form just nine days after that hard run on his reappearance. Can John Gosden do it? Of course he can. His record when attempting to do so at this level? Tony Keenan has the stats (and nuance) lower in the thread.
Re: Too Darn Hot and the quick turnaround.
John Gosden is 2/18 with horses running back in Group 1s having run in the previous fortnight since 2003. The two winners were in 2017, Enable in the King George and Persuasive in the QEII. Six places in that period.
— Tony Keenan (@RacingTrends) May 23, 2019
Phoenix of Spain was last seen pushing Magna Grecia to a head in the Vertem Futurity Trophy, having previously been a good second in the Champagne Stakes. He’s had a set back or two, hence the fact he’s running here, but he’s certainly still of interest and if at his best, would be likely to get involved in the latter stages at the very least.
Decrypt, an impressive winner at Cork on his seasonal debut, and Tetrach Stakes winner Shelir are two of the more interesting unexposed contenders here. Shelir, who came with an impressive run when dropped back to seven, is particularly interesting at a big price with a strong pace guaranteed back up at a mile.
Mohawk, second in the Dee Stakes, has been the subject of a lot of interest at big prices, and this strong stayer is a royal Lodge winner, but one wonders if he will not be better at a longer trip.
In the Lanwades Stud Stakes, a lot of attention will be on I Can Fly, sixth in the Lockinge, but One Master, the winner of the Prix La Foret, might be able to deft a penalty on her return. She was a creditable fifth in the Breeders’ Cup mile after that and at her best, could be described as the standard setter. Beshaayir, who has the services of Frankie Dettori, was impressive when winning a Newmarket Listed race and ought to go nicely although her stablemate is preferred whilst Red Tea was impressive off a big weight in a handicap but must do more.
2 pts each/way Skardu, Irish 2,000 Guineas (13/2 general)
1 pt win One Master, Lanwades Stud Stakes (10/3 general)