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The Irish 2,000 Guineas

Tom Law 11:51 Jul 18th, 2018 Horse Racing

The Irish 2,000 Guineas The Irish 2,000 Guineas is one of Ireland’s principle horse races. The group 1 classified race is the Irish equivalent of England’s 2,000 Guineas, and is nowadays regarded as the sequel to that race. As a result many of the competitors from the Newmarket Guineas travel to the Curragh in Ireland each year to compete in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. 

The format for the Irish 2,000 Guineas is identical to that of its English counterpart. The race is open to 3-year-old thoroughbreds and is run over the distance of a mile. Where the race tends to differ from its’ English cousin is in the quality of the ground for the race, with the Curragh racecourse tending to offer soft to heavy ground. 

The Irish 2,000 Guineas is contested primarily by colts, although fillies are theoretically eligible to run in the race. The rapid growth of Irish flat racing has seen the prize money offered in the Irish 2,000 Guineas rise steadily in recent years, and at present the race offers a prize fund equivalent to its English counterpart. 

A History of the Irish Guineas

The Irish 2,000 Guineas was created more than a century after its English counterpart and almost half a century after the creation of the first of the Irish Classics, the Irish Derby. The Irish version of the 1,000 Guineas was launched a year later. 

Since its inception the Irish 2,000 Guineas has sought to attract entries that ran in the English 2,000 Guineas earlier in the season. At present a three week period separates the two races, allowing the entries in the English 2,000 Guineas time to recuperate before heading to the Curragh. 

The most notable Irish 2,000 Guineas winners are those who won the race after claiming victory in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. A total of seven thoroughbred colts have achieved this feat, with Right Track the first racehorse to do so in 1969, and Henrythenavigator the most recent horse to claim the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas double. 

Betting on the Irish 2,000 Guineas

The Irish 2,000 kick-starts the Irish flat racing season and tends to receive an enthusiastic response from punters both in the Emerald Isle as well as the United Kingdom. Fixed odds Irish 2,000 Guineas markets are available months ahead of the race and have proved to be fairly successful in predicting the winner of the race.

In the last decade the antepost favourites have achieved a 40% hit rate in the race. It is unusual to find a winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas priced over 12/1, and racing fans can generate a good return on a race that traditionally features smaller fields by placing each-way and place bets in the Irish 2,000 Guineas betting markets.

Racing at the Curragh

Throughout its history the Irish 2,000 Guineas has been run at the home of Irish thoroughbred racing – the Curragh. The name of this racecourse is Gallic, and literally translates as ‘racecourse’. The Curragh is one of the oldest racecourses in Ireland, and was officially recognized as a thoroughbred racing venue in 1868. 

Today the Curragh features an unusual horseshoe layout that sprawls over 2 miles. Like many Irish racecourses the Curragh is slightly heavier than those found in England, and this has often had a substantial impact on the outcome of the Irish 2,000 Guineas. With the final 3 furlongs of the course running up-hill, stamina is crucial to success at the Curragh. 

Watching the Irish 2,000 Guineas

The Curragh Racecourse is located in County Kildare in the Republic of Ireland. The racecourse is therefore easily accessible to racing enthusiasts living in Dublin, which is located in the neighbouring County Dublin.

While large local crowds converge on the Curragh each year for the Irish 2,000 Guineas, it is more convenient for racing enthusiasts elsewhere in the United Kingdom to watch live broadcasts of this race. The race is broadcast live by horseracing networks, with live web-streaming available from the United Kingdom’s top bookmakers.