Native Trail set to regain winning form at Irish 2,000 Guineas

After losing unbeaten record to stablemate, English raider is odds-on favourite

Native Trail is an odds-on favourite to regain winning form in Saturday’s Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Europe’s champion two-year-old of 2021 lost his unbeaten record to Godolphin stablemate Coroebus in the Newmarket Guineas over a fortnight ago.

Kingman in 2014 was the last colt to finish runner-up at Newmarket before gaining classic consolation in the Irish version.

On Tuesday Native Trail was quickly installed a 2-5 favourite with some firms after 11 entries were left in the colts’ classic at the latest acceptance stage.


They include Ivy League, one of two Aidan O’Brien horses left in, who was supplemented into the contest at a cost of €50,000.

However, it is O’Brien’s son Joseph who the layers believe possesses the biggest threat to Native Trial in the Tetrarch winner Buckaroo. O’Brien won the Guineas three years running as a jockey between 2011 and 2013.

Buckaroo was also left in next month’s Epsom Derby after the latest acceptance stage for that race on Tuesday.

Godolphin last won the Irish 2,000 Guineas with Dubawi in 2005. Bachir also scored in the famous blue colours in 2000.

Ireland’s 2022 Group 1 season gets under way with a vengeance over the Guineas weekend, the 1,000 on Sunday’s programme being backed up by the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Fillies’ classic

Dermot Weld’s Homeless Songs and the Ballydoyle filly Tuesday are at the head of the betting for the fillies’ classic, which has been won for the last eight years by home-based horses.

Godolphin’s Wild Beauty and Mise En Scene from James Ferguson’s yard could try to change that, as might the €2 million purchase Purplepay.

She has yet to start for new trainer William Haggas having been placed in Group 1 company last year for Cedric Rossi. He was arrested in December as part of a police investigation in France into doping.

One potentially intriguing 1,000 Guineas starter is Star Girls Aalmal from Henry De Bromhead’s all-conquering National Hunt yard.

The daughter of Elzaam won her maiden in Dundalk in November and returned to action with a three-length success at Gowran last month. That earned her an official rating of 100.

De Bromhead, who completed a Champion Hurdle-Gold Cup double at Cheltenham in March for a second year running, has increasingly made his presence felt on the flat in recent years.

His wins on the level include last year’s Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown with Lismore.

William Haggas has left Alenquer among the dozen left in the older horse Group 1 alongside John Gosden’s Dubai scorer Lord North.

The Tattersalls Gold Cup is also likely to see a return to action for last year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas hero, Mac Swiney.

Jim Bolger’s star hasn’t won since that memorable defeat of stable companion Poetic Flare but did run a fine third to Sealiway in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.

Mac Swiney subsequently finished last in the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin in December.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column