Aidan O’Brien is the most successful trainer in 2000 Guineas history with 10 wins in the Classic over the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, so any talk of his contenders is of interest.
The Ballydoyle maestro named Wichita and Arizona as potential runners on 6 June. However, due to how close Guineas Weekend is to Royal Ascot this year, O’Brien may divide his three-year-old colts and fillies up.
“The two main horses who were going to Newmarket originally were Wichita and Arizona,” he said. “That was the original plan.
“We thought it would be possible to do all three races with them – the Guineas at Newmarket, the Irish Guineas and then the St James’s Palace [Stakes] – but that’s obviously not the case now.
“It’s still possible that those two will still go to Newmarket, but nothing is set in stone,” O’Brien continued.
“I would imagine the horses will go either of two ways between the Irish and English Guineas, with the view that some of the Newmarket horses would have a chance of running at Royal Ascot.
“The likes of Love, So Wonderful and Peaceful – they were our 1,000 Guineas horses for Newmarket. Obviously there are some of them who are going to be split up between Newmarket and The Curragh now.
“It’s similar to the colts. There are horses there for both the Irish and English 2000 Guineas: Fort Myers, Vatican City, Royal Lytham, Royal Dornoch, Armory and Monarch Of Egypt.
“There are a lot of horses there that we need to split up and go different ways with. We don’t have the French Guineas as an option now, [so] we are going to have to have a bit more a think about who goes where.”
Harrington and Foley preparing fine fillies for Guineas bids
Dual purpose trainer Jessica Harrington gas a bunch of fine fillies in her Irish stables, meanwhile. She and stable jockey Shane Foley gave updates on their Classic contenders too.
“Millisle has won at Newmarket before and she could go there, while Albigna might wait for the Irish Guineas,” Harrington said.
“Cayenne Pepper probably won’t run until the Irish Oaks. We also have Alpine Star, who I had hoped to run in France, but that looks like it is out.”
Due to quarantine protocols relating to racehorse connections, Foley will stay in Ireland. “It’s looking like Albigna is going to stay at home and run in the Irish Guineas and, with the restrictions in place, I won’t be going to Newmarket,” he said.
“It doesn’t look like I’ll be at Royal Ascot either because, with the time schedule, none of our fillies will be there because the Irish and English Guineas are just too close to the meeting.
“If Millisle didn’t stay in the Guineas at Newmarket, she might go back for the Commonwealth Cup, but that’s all hypothetical.”
Harrington’s fillies dominate the ante post Irish 1000 Guineas betting with bookmakers. For the English equivalent, meanwhile, only Quadrilateral is a shorter price in the market than Albigna and Millisle.
Analysis: O’Brien colts have Pinatubo problem
Jamie Clark, Horsebetting.com Editor
The best O’Brien trained colts had cracks at champion juvenile Pinatubo last season and failed. There is no reason to think any of them can reverse two-year-old form.
That hypothesis reflects the betting with Charlie Appleby’s Godolphin owned star a hot favourite with the bookies.
It is double figure prices bar Pinatubo, who went to Ireland last autumn and beat them on their own patch.
On the Dewhurst Stakes form, Arizona got closest to him and that’s why he occupies second place in the betting.
Other O’Brien colts Wichita, Year Of The Tiger and Monarch Of Egypt came home at two-length intervals.
Racehorses transitioning from two to three progress differently, but it’s a leap of faith to see any turning the tables.
Pinatubo has won a Group 1 on the Rowley Mile over 7f, so a furlong further should be no problem. The O’Brien horses that do show up at Newmarket are playing for places anyway.