3.20 Tattersalls Irish 2000
Guineas (Group 1) 1m
Atomic Jones: Two from two as a juvenile, notably when getting the better of Stone Age and Buckaroo in a bunch finish to the Champions Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown. No match for the first-mentioned rival on his comeback in Derby Trial, but more interesting now back at one mile, with race fitness on side. His final run here before going to Hong Kong.
Buckaroo: Good juvenile last season but has progressed in the winter and only just touched off by Derby fancy Piz Badile over 10 furlongs in Ballysax Stakes. A switch back to one mile in the Tetrarch Stakes was an interesting move but he travelled strongly and picked up impressively for a smart win. Looks the biggest threat to the favourite.
Duke De Sessa: Two from four last season, including a Group 3 win in the nine-furlong Eyrefield Stakes. Had that form reversed by Piz Badile in Ballysax and then more disappointing when fifth in Derby Trial Stakes, so he has it to prove now.
Imperial Fighter: Decent juvenile form in Britain last season, most notably when fifth to Luxembourg in Vertem Futurity. That still leaves him with a bit to find here, for all that his listed third to Checkandchallenge at Newcastle was a promising comeback.
Ivy League: Progressed fast since his debut sixth to Malex over seven furlongs here, recording back-to-back wins which included a procession in a competitive Naas handicap off a mark of 84. He was beaten favourite for his latest run in the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown but he was taking on older horses there, so it was a useful run, and he has a good chance to place if he can step forward again, something his connections think he can do considering they paid ¤50,000 to supplement him for this.
Malex: Did well to win first time out on the opening day of the season at the Curragh but couldn’t live with Buckaroo in the Tetrarch and this is another significant step up again.
Native Trail: Champion juvenile last season, looked good on his comeback in the Craven Stakes, warming up for his 2000 Guineas effort which eventually saw him find only stablemate Coreobus too strong on the day. It was a still a huge run and he was possibly unlucky by only seeing the winner late in the day, with little chance to react. He returns to the scene of his impressive Vincent O’Brien National Stakes win now and, although stall one is not ideal, he is clearly still the one to beat.
New Energy: Confirmed the promise of his two runs last season with two solid runs in listed company this term - third to Dr Zempf in the 2,000 Guineas Trial and filling that position again behind Buckaroo here in the Tetrarch. Needs to find more considerably more improvement but worth his place in the line-up.
Wexford Native: Smart first-time out winner at Navan before finding only Buckaroo too good in the Tetrarch. He has four lengths to find and, considering it was only his second run, the scope is there for him to get closer to the O’Brien runner, but hard to imagine him toppling the favourite.
Despite a potentially troublesome draw (explained on previous page), it’s hard to see past Native Trail, who can gain compensation for his Newmarket defeat at a course he excelled on last September. Buckaroo is his main danger and can put up a fight. Of those at bigger prices, Atomic Jones can go well.