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Discover who you should back instead of Magician in the Irish 2,000 Guineas

by Josh Powell | May 24, 2013

Punters’ pal Matt Chapman has stopped ‘Yeeehaaa-ing’ long enough to rip apart the Irish 2,000 Guineas field and pick out an each-way selection at 12/1

Matt Chapman | Irish 2,000 Guineas

This is a fascinating race for Aidan O’Brien with Magician, who many people thought would be in the Derby after the win at Chester the other day. He was really impressive there and beat Contributor by four lengths in the Dee Stakes. Quite clearly Ryan Moore has said to Aidan O’Brien this horse has plenty of speed, otherwise there is no other explanation for dropping back two furlongs for the 2000 Guineas. That will be music to the team’s ears because what they love to hear is that one of their horses has plenty of speed.

However, I’m not convinced by Magician at all for this classic. This is a false favourite.

Let’s face some facts.

  • He couldn’t win a Leopardstown maiden on his debut.
  • He couldn’t win a maiden at Dundalk.
  • He eventually won a Curragh maiden but he was odds-on to do so, so it wasn’t a very strong contest.
  • He then finished last in a Group three at Leopardstown and come back in a five runner Dee Stakes at Chester. He started favourite despite those previous performances but he was against horses rated 99, 89, 101 and 91.

And all of a sudden he is the favourite for the Irish 2,000 Guineas? Can’t be having that at the prices and he simply isn’t worthy of his current price, with plenty of value in the race.

The obvious opposition is Van Der Neer, because he finished third behind Dawn Approach in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and that is the single best piece of form in this race. However, what we know about Van Der Neer is that he is a pretty decent horse, he’s going to be there or there abouts, but he is eminently beatable.

Trading Leather is a fascinating horse. I went to see Dawn Approach before he won the 2,000 Guineas and Jim Bolger tapped me on my little shoulder and told me not to forget about Trading Leather. But he needs fast ground. He ran very well in the Dante at York and he is bred to be more of a miler, than a mile-and-a-half horse and he has a great chance. He could win this for Bolger but the ground won’t be fast enough for him so he is worth taking on.

Johnny Murtagh definitely won’t be training the winner with Fort Knox or Ask Dad. I’m surprised Sheikh Mohammed has coughed up the money for Fort Knox.

The smart bet is an Aidan O’Brien horse who had an absolute shocker at Newmarket last time out and that is George Vancouver. He was very disappointing in the 2,000 Guineas when he was beaten 15 lengths by Dawn Approach at a big price. But don’t forget this was a horse that was good enough to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and he was just three and a half lengths behind Dawn Approach in the Dewhurst, which was closer to Dawn Approach than Van Der Neer happened to do in the 2,000 Guineas.

At the prices, George Vancouver is well worth an each-way bet in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. It’s Gorgeous George all over again for me. 

Has Chapman called it right? Find out the latest odds here

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