Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh, and pick out their 1-2-3...
"...hugely impressive at Newmarket, so he is narrowly preferred with more improvement on the cards..."
Timeform on Magna Grecia
1. Decrypt (Paddy Twomey/William James Lee)
Confirmed previous promise when winning 11-runner minor event at Cork on return, quickening to lead over a furlong out. Clearly on the upgrade, but needs a much more marked step forward this time.
2. Emaraaty Ana (Kevin Ryan/Andrea Atzeni)
Lightly-raced winner sort who won minor event at Windsor and Gimcrack Stakes at York (by half a length from Legends of War) in 2018. Well-beaten in 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on return, though, and similar fate likely to await him here.
3. Globe Theatre (Aidan O'Brien/Padraig Beggy)
Thrice-raced maiden who still didn't look the finished article when fifth at Naas last time. Tongue strap on for first time here and looks out of his depth.
4. Guaranteed (Jim Bolger/Kevin Manning)
Useful colt who won maiden here and Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown in 2018. Failed to reproduce that level of form in two starts this term, however, including when well held in Derrinstown Derby Trial last time. Even pick of his efforts leave him with plenty to find back down in trip.
5. Hillwalker (Thomas Cleary/Rory Cleary)
Enjoyed run of race when winning maiden at Gowran Park on his final 2018 start, and this looks a tough ask for one so inexperienced, stepping up markedly in grade on his return from 11 months off the track.
6. I Am Superman (Michael O'Callaghan/Leigh Roche)
Won handicaps at Leopardstown and Naas in April, before pulling too hard when two and a quarter lengths fifth to Shelir in listed race here last time. Tough to recommend in this exalted company.
7. Magna Grecia (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
Won maiden at Naas and Futurity Trophy at Doncaster (by head from Phoenix of Spain) in 2018. Improved again when producing blistering performance to win 2000 Guineas at Newmarket (by two and a half lengths from King of Change) on return, well on top at the finish for all that he raced in favoured group. Remains open to more improvement and looks sure to take all the beating.
8. Mohawk (Aidan O'Brien/Donnacha O'Brien)
Won maiden at Cork and Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket (by one and a quarter lengths from Sydney Opera House) in 2018. Proved better than ever when one and a quarter lengths second to Circus Maximus in listed Dee Stakes at Chester on return. Drops back in trip here and stable second string on jockey bookings.
9. Old Glory (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan)
Won 16-runner maiden at Naas on his debut in 2018, and shaped encouragingly when length third to Coral Beach in Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown on his final start that season, doing too much too soon. Remains with potential and should win races in calmer waters, but this likely to prove too tough.
10. Phoenix of Spain (Charles Hills/Jamie Spencer)
Won minor event at Wolverhampton and Acomb Stakes at York (by one and a half lengths from Watan) in 2018. Also produced better efforts in defeat on final two starts that season, when filling the runner-up spot in the Champagne Stakes (beaten one and three quarter lengths by Too Darn Hot) and Futurity Trophy (head second to Magna Grecia), both at Doncaster. Plenty on his plate trying to reverse the form with that pair, however, especially conceding race fitness.
11. Shelir (Dermot Weld/Chris Hayes)
Unraced at two but quickly progressed to useful level in two starts this term, winning maiden at Navan on his debut and following up in 7f listed race at the Curragh (by one and a quarter lengths from Eclipse Storm) last time, staying on strongly to lead close home. Should have even more to offer, especially now stepping back up in trip, and looks well worth a try at this level for powerful connections.
12. Skardu (William Haggas/James Doyle)
Created good impression in winning his first two starts, notably Craven Stakes at Newmarket (by neck from Momkin) on his return, and shaped well when four and a quarter lengths third to Magna Grecia in 2000 Guineas there last time, taking third close home (first home in disadvantaged group). Remains open to more improvement and no surprise to see him finish closer to Magna Grecia this time round.
13. Too Darn Hot (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori)
Unbeaten in four starts at two, notably Champagne Stakes at Doncaster (by one and three quarter lengths from Phoenix of Spain) and Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket (by two and three quarter lengths from Advertise). Missed planned reappearance due to injury and was below his best when length second to Telecaster in Dante Stakes at York on belated return, eased close home as the winner found extra. Didn't lose too much in defeat, though, and looks an obvious player back down in trip here, for all that this is a quick turnaround.
14. Van Beethoven (Aidan O'Brien/Seamie Heffernan)
Won minor event at Naas and Railway Stakes at the Curragh (by half a length from Marie's Diamond) in 2018. Limitations exposed at the top level since, though, including when never a threat in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp (four and three quarter lengths sixth to Persian King) last time.
Minimum Bet Guarantee
Betfair's 'minimum bet guarantee' on all Class 1 and 2 races in the UK and Ireland - which means all customers are able to bet to win a minimum of £500 - has been extended to cover all races at selected meetings this week. T&Cs apply.
Timeform’s Irish 2000 Guineas Analyst Verdict
MAGNA GRECIA and Too Darn Hot are both right out of the top drawer and this is expected to develop into a fascinating battle between the pair. The first-named has a bit more physical scope and was hugely impressive at Newmarket, so he is narrowly preferred with more improvement on the cards. Skardu, who was an excellent third behind the selection last time, is the clear pick of the others.
Timeform’s Irish 2000 Guineas 1-2-3
1. Magna Grecia
2. Too Darn Hot