Through the decades | Irish 2,000 Guineas winners

Tipsters Review - 02-Jun-2020

Through the decades | Irish 2,000 Guineas winners


With horse racing finally resuming following its indefinite suspension, all eyes are firmly on the flat racing season and the five Classics. With racing in Ireland returning at Naas on June 8th, the first Classics of the season will commence on June 12-13th at the Curragh, beginning with the Guineas. It won’t be too long before punters and fans are scrambling for the page to access today's racing results, as they go in search of the latest odds for upcoming meetings. But as we look forward to the Irish 2,000 Guineas, let’s look back at the last four winners from the start of the previous decades.

2010 winner: Canford Cliffs

After finishing third in the British Classic of the same name at Newmarket, Canford Cliffs was the favourite going into the race in Ireland. It proved to be a comfortable victory by three lengths from Free Judgement, giving a first (and only) win in the Irish Classics for jockey, now turned trainer, Richard Hughes. Canford Cliffswent on to win the St. James’ Palace Stakes and Sussex Stakes that season, before being retired the following year due to injury.

2000 winner: Bachir

2000’s winner Bachir had a short but sweet racing career, which lasted just two seasons, but in that time, he was a major winner in four countries. After winning the Dubai and French equivalents of the 2,000 Guineas, it was off to the Curragh. With legendary jockey Frankie Dettori in the saddle, Bachir beat the 9/10 favourite Giant’s Causeway by a neck to make it a hat-trick of Guineas wins. After disappointing results in his next two races, Bachir was retired to stud.

1990 winner: Tirol

Tirol was considered a decent one-miler, with five consecutive wins under his belt, the last one being in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. After winning the Newmarket Guineas in record time (a record that was then broken four years later), he was reunited with usual jockey Pat Eddery and was the favourite for the race at the Curragh. It was a close-run thing with Tirol taking the lead in the straight and battling bravely to win by a neck. He never regained that form and was retired to stud, before dying of colic in 2007.

1980 winner: Nikoli

Nikoli made his debut as a juvenile, winning his only race as a two-year-old. The following season, the Paddy Prendergast-trained horse entered the McCairns Trial Stakes and won, upsetting the odds, before going into the Guineas. Named the third-favourite behind Monteverdi and Posse, the race was won in the final furlongs. With Nikoli, Last Fandango and Posse all level in the last stretch, Nikoli, with Christy Roche in the saddle, pulled away to win by a short-head. Sadly, that was the end of his good form, and after disappointing as favourite in the Epsom Derby and unplacing in the Irish Derby, he never ran again and was retired to stud.


While this year’s race will have a very different feel to it, with so many rules and regulations in place to ensure optimum health and safety, who are the early favourites? Unbeaten in four starts as a juvenile, Ger Lyons’ Siskin is the front-runner. While top trainer Aidan O’Brien is represented en masse, with Armory and Vatican City also in contention.


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