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Irish 2000 Guineas: Dates, runners, history and more

The Irish 2000 Guineas is a Group 1 flat horse race open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is the first of the five Irish Classics and is run over the distance of a mile at the Curragh in County Kildare.

Horse Racing

Irish 2000 Guineas date

The 2000 Guineas is scheduled for Saturday 25th May and is the feature race on the second day of the three-day Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival.

Irish 2000 Guineas venue

The Curragh stages the Irish 2000 Guineas and is one of Ireland's best-known tracks. It is also the home of the four other Irish Classics - the Irish 1000 Guineas (run the following day), the Irish Derby, Irish Oaks and Irish St Leger - and, in total, 10 of the 12 Group 1 races in Ireland are run at the Curragh.

The first recorded horse racing happened there in 1727 but it is believed that racing had been taking place at the Curragh for some time previously.

It is a right-handed course in the shape of a horseshoe and features a testing uphill finish. Race meetings are held at the track regularly between March and October during the Irish Flat season.

Irish 2000 Guineas how to watch

The race can be viewed via the bet365 live sports streaming service while viewers in Britain can also watch the action from the Curragh on Racing TV.

Irish 2000 Guineas details

The prestigious race is Ireland's equivalent of the 2000 Guineas and this year will take place exactly three weeks after the Newmarket event. 

That break is long enough that the field often includes horses that have taken part in the English Guineas and runners who do well in the Irish 2000 Guineas will often then be considered for races such as the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

This year some of the early possible contenders for the race include Henry Longfellow, Unquestionable, City of Troy, River Tiber, Rosallion and Diego Velazquez.

The Irish 2000 Guineas is the main event on the second day of the Curragh's Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival, but other big races on Saturday 25th May are the Group 2 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes over six furlongs and the GAIN Marble Hill Stakes, which is a Group 3 event for two-year-olds.

Irish 2000 Guineas history

The first running of the Irish 2000 Guineas was in 1921, a year before the inaugural Irish 1,000 Guineas, and was won by Soldennis. 

Nine horses have done the English 2000 Guineas and Irish 2000 Guineas double with the most recent being Churchill in 2017. Right Tack, Don't Forget Me, Tirol, Rodrigo De Triano, Rock Of Gibraltar, Cockney Rebel, Henrythenavigator and Gleneagles also achieved the feat.

The 1962 winner Arctic Storm set the record time for the race, completing the course in one minute and 35 seconds, while Cockney Rebel was the swiftest victor in the modern era with 1:36.10 in 2007.

Irish 2000 Guineas most successful trainer

Aidan O'Brien has won this race the most times, with 12 total successes. His first victory in the Irish 2000 Guineas was with Desert King in 1997 and three more followed soon after with Saffron Walden in 1999, Black Minnaloushe in 2001 and Rock Of Gibraltar in 2002.

O'Brien had to wait six years for his next success with Henrythenavigator in 2008, but further wins have followed with Mastercraftsman (2009), Roderic O'Connor (2011), Power (2012), Magician (2013), Gleneagles (2015), Churchill (2017) and Paddington (2023).

Irish 2000 Guineas most successful jockey

Two jockeys have five wins in the race. Tommy Burns Sr. rode the very first winner, Soldennis, in 1921 and his final success came on Beau Sabreur in 1948. Martin Quirke's five wins came in the same period, ranging from 1929 to 1941.

Ryan Moore, Joseph O'Brien and Johnny Murtagh have each ridden three Irish 2000 Guineas winners in the modern era.

Irish 2000 Guineas famous winners

There have been many famous winners of the Irish 2000 Guineas, including Grundy (1975), Sadler's Wells (1984), Triptych (1985), Barathea (1993), Rock Of Gibraltar (2002), Dubawi (2005), Canford Cliffs (2010), Kingman (2014), Awtaad (2016), Churchill (2017) and Paddington (2023).

Last season's Irish 2000 Guineas winner Paddington went on to take the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, beating English 2000 Guineas hero Chaldean, and also won the Group 1 Eclipse at Sandown and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

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