King George heads Guineas field

George Washington heads a list of 19 horses confirmed at the five-day stage for the Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh.

George Washington heads a list of 19 horses confirmed at the five-day stage for the Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh.

The brilliant winner of the Stan James-sponsored equivalent at Newmarket will be a hot favourite to complete the Classic double on Saturday.

Aussie Rules and Marcus Andronicus, who gave Aidan O’Brien a famous one-two in the French 2000 Guineas, are also among nine left in the 224,500 contest by the Ballydoyle trainer.

His other possibles are Arabian Prince, Benjamin Franklin, Hurricane Cat, Ivan Denisovich, Major Commitment and River Tiber.

The Jeremy Noseda-trained Araafa, who was fourth to George Washington at Newmarket, is part of a three-strong British entry.

Mick Channon is considering the mile contest for Yasoodd, winner of the Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial but only ninth to Aussie Rules at Longchamp, while John Dunlop has Tell, runner-up to Ivy Creek at Sandown on his seasonal debut.

Decado, winner of the Group Three Tetrarch Stakes, is Kevin Prendergast’s hope, while the other possibles are Caribbean, Crookhaven, Golden Arrow, Heliostatic, Rhythm’n Boots and Tenacious Greg.

The ground at the Curragh is currently described as soft on the round course and heavy in the straight but Paul Hensey, racecourse manager at the track is hoping for ground on the soft side of good on Saturday.

“If the Guineas were today we would be able to race,” said Hensey on At The Races.

“Looking ahead to Saturday I think it will be on the easy side. Whether it is soft or good to soft I’m not sure.

“There is quite a bit of wind forecast for the next few days which is very positive news because like Newmarket it dries out very quickly when it is windy.

“It’s also scheduled to get quite cold later in the week and there is a risk of frost which could affect the ground as well.

“The weather is unbelievable. I don’t think I can ever remember a day as wet as what we had here on Sunday, we had about an inch and a half of rain in a 10-hour period.

“If George Washington shows up he is the one they’ve all got to beat but it looks like a competitive race. Kevin Prendergast’s horse Decado certainly looks interesting.”

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