Stubbs Art is reported to have made the necessary progress to suggest another bold effort against Henrythenavigator and New Approach in Saturday’s Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas.
Although sent off at 100-1 after only finishing fifth in a handicap at Sandown on his first run of the season, trainer David Elsworth was insistent at a crack at the Guineas at Newmarket and was rewarded with a third-placing, just four lengths behind the top two.
The Irish pair will line-up as part of a declared field of eight, with Elsworth persuading his colt’s art dealer-owner Matthew Green to pay 40,000 to supplement.
Green’s racing manager Jimmy Lindley said: “Elsie has always thought a lot of the horse and is one of the greatest pros in the game so when he speaks, people listen.
“He thinks the horse has improved four or five pounds from the Newmarket run and we think the track will suit him better.
“There’s quite a bit of stamina in his pedigree and he may well end up running over a mile and a quarter.
“He needs to snatch four lengths back from New Approach and Henrythenavigator and if those two hold their form, he ought to finish closer.”
Henrythenavigator heads Aidan O’Brien’s three-strong team as the Kingmambo colt bids to emulate Cockney Rebel, who took both Classics last year.
O’Brien, aiming to win the race for a fifth time, will also saddle the unbeaten Jupiter Pluvius and probable pacemaker Windsor Palace.
But it is the Jim Bolger-trained New Approach, beaten a nose on the Rowley Mile, who is favoured by the bookmakers.
Jim Bolger’s charge was suffering the first defeat of his career, having carried all before him as a two-year-old and he is the 11-8 market leader with Coral and the race sponsors.
William Hill have New Approach as their 5-4 favourite with Henrythenavigator 15-8 and their Irish spokesman Tony Kenny said: “Everyone across the industry is talking about the rematch between New Approach and Henrythenavigator and it will be fascinating to see the pair in action on Saturday.
“At the moment the punters are just about favouring New Approach, but we have seen some solid support for Henrythenavigator in the last few days.
“Neither of the pair would be particularly good results for us – so we’ll be praying that one of the less-exposed horses in race can do us a favour.”
Those other horses also include Dermot Weld’s 2000 Guineas Trial winner Famous Name, Breeders’ Cup winner Nownownow – having his first run for David Wachman - and the Brendan Duke-trained Sammy The Snake.
Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas:
Sponsors bet: 11-8 New Approach, 7-4 Henrythenavigator, 8-1 Jupiter Pluvius, Famous Name, 16-1 Stubbs Art, Nownownow, 40-1 Sammy The Snake, 66-1 Windsor Palace.
William Hill: 5-4 New Approach, 15-8 Henrythenavigator, 8-1 Jupiter Pluvius, 9-1 Famous Name, 14-1 Stubbs Art, 16-1 Nownownow, 40-1 Sammy The Snake, 50-1 Windsor Palace.
Coral: 11-8 New Approach, 13-8 Henrythenavigator, 15-2 Jupiter Pluvius, 8-1 Famous Name, 16-1 Nownownow, Stubbs Art, 50-1 Sammy The Snake, 66-1 Windsor Place.