Overwhelming favourite Kingman took the win in the 2014 Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh Racecourse, comfortably dispatching Shifting Power and the rest of the pack on a rain-soaked track by five lengths, as shared by Champions Series:
#2000Guineas runner-up KINGMAN readily makes amends in the Irish version under James Doyle!— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) May 24, 2014
Runner-up at the Newmarket 2000 Guineas, the colt took advantage of a weakened field, easily winning Ireland's most important Group 1 flat horse race.
Rain fell for most of the day leading up to the race, and War Command, the biggest competitor for John Gosden's horse, was eventually withdrawn from the race, per William Hill Racing:
War Command out of the Irish 2000 Guineas. Joseph O'Brien switches to Johann Strauss— William Hill Racing (@WillHillRacing) May 24, 2014
Many punters wondered how Kingman would handle a slow surface battered by heavy rains, but those questions were soon answered, as James Doyle and his colt made up for their somewhat disappointing result at Newmarket with an emphatic win.
|6||Great White Eagle|
|8||Dolce N Kamara|
|10||Fountain Of Youth|
Shifting Power led the pack into the final furlong, with Kingman sitting comfortably on the outside. Taking over the lead, the colt easily pulled clear, widening the gap to five lengths by the time the race was over.
Lord Grimthorpe, the racing manager of owner Khaled Abdulla, sounded very confident in his prized colt ahead of the race, telling The Telegraph's Marcus Armytage his team had built on the performance of Kingsman at Newmarket in preparation for this race:
It’s a good opportunity for him. The Guineas looked a strong race, he’s had a very straightforward preparation since – which you have to have for these races – and worked really nicely last Saturday. The ground is going to be pretty soft. We don’t know what his best ground is yet, but he won the Greenham on good to soft and we think he’ll handle it.
As shared by BBC's Cornelius Lysaght, jockey James Doyle recorded his very first Classic win at the Curragh Racecourse:
Kingman's victory broke a streak of three straight victories for trainer Aidan O'Brien, whose team was effectively beheaded by the exclusion of War Command, his leading horse.
But with an eye on next month St. James' Palace Stakes at the Ascot Racecourse and the horse's disappointing showing at Newmarket, the decision not the start on a rain-soaked course was an understandable one.
Tote: €1.02 €1.50 €1.20 €2.30
Kingman came close to fulfilling his status as favourite at Newmarket and dominated the opposition on Saturday, and the horse looks to be in phenomenal form as the St. James' Palace Stakes draws closer.
Gosden's colt will once again be favoured over War Command, but trainer O'Brien clearly had his eyes set on Ascot rather than on today's race. With preparations now shifting for the crown jewel of British Group 1 flat horse racing, both will be expected to decide the winner of their personal battle next month.