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Why War Command is overpriced to win the Irish 2000 Guineas

| 23.05.2014

The Flat season really begins to boil up at the Curragh this weekend, with the Irish Guineas meeting giving this year’s milers a chance to show off ahead of their Epsom Derby and Oaks equivalents next month.

In the 2000, Kingman leads the field for John Gosden at 4/5 and is tough to oppose on form, having been beaten half a length by Night of Thunder – who doesn’t make it over the water – in England’s equivalent.

Gosden’s inmate went into the race as 6/4 favourite after an impressive run of wins at two and three, including one over his Newmarket conqueror during the spring build up to the main event.

It would be the Clarehaven handler’s first win in either of Ireland’s Guineas races, although raiders have a solid recent record, with eight of the last 17 runs seeing British-based trainers take the prize.

There’s no doubt that Kingman’s form holds up, but what should give punters pause before backing him at such a tight price is the fact that Aidan O’Brien has won the other nine during that period, including the last three with his son Joseph on board, and they run 7/1 shot War Command.

The big Ballydoyle hope had an excellent two-year-old campaign, but failed to hit top form when finishing five lengths off Night of Thunder in seventh in the English 2000 Guineas, his only run so far this year.

However, O’Brien’s 2011 and 2012 winners Roderic O’Connor and Power both ran much worse races prior to their Curragh wins, and War Command already boasts a victory at the track over today’s 11/2 second-favourite Mustajeeb, which Kingman does not.

At current odds, a fourth win in a row for the O’Brien/O’Brien combination seems wildly overpriced at 7/1, especially considering there’s little to find between War Command and Kingman based on official ratings.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune