Paddington Gives Aidan O’Brien 12th Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas

May 27, 2023

Paddington victorious in the Irish 2000 Guineas (David Betts)

By Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Paddington gave Aidan O’Brien a record 12th success in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh, Co Kildare, Ireland, on Saturday.

In a race which contained a strong British challenge, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas runner-up from Newmarket, England, earlier this month, Hi Royal, and the third-place finisher Royal Scotsman, who began today’s race as 6/4 favourite, were expected to be the main challengers to the Ballydoyle first string.

With Ryan Moore in the saddle on Paddington, the son of Siyouni, was to the fore from the start of the one-mile contest, taking a position behind the Oisín Murphy-ridden Hi Royal.

When into the home stretch Hi Royal on the far rail and Paddington on his outside battled for a while before the Coolmore partners-owned Paddington asserted his authority inside the final furlong and stayed on well to achieve a comfortable two-length success.

Hi Royal, who has battled with the winner from the two-furlong to the one-furlong pole, kept on at the same pace and was passed by another Aidan O’Brien-trained runner, Cairo, before the wire.

Cairo, a son of Quality Road, had tracked the leaders on the outside for most of the colts’ classic and kept on inside the final one-eight without ever actually threatening the winner.

For Aidan O’Brien it was a first Tattersalls 2000 Guineas since the victory of Churchill in 2017. The Ballydoyle handler gave his reaction post-race, stating:

“He (Paddington) went to Ascot first and was very babyish, then he came back here (The Curragh) and won a maiden very easily with Séamus (Heffernan). He wintered very well and we were very happy with him in the spring. He ended up in the Madrid (Handicap) on a lovely mark. It was a lovely place to start him over seven furlongs even though the ground was soft. He then came back here and won the Tetrarch on soft ground so we weren’t really sure about the ground with him. Obviously, he’s a Siyouni out of a Montjeu mare. He was always a beautiful mover but you’re never sure until they’ll do it.” 

O’Brien, for whom it was the 12th Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas of his career, continued:

“He was a little bit slow away so Ryan (Moore, jockey) got his position on him. I thought he gave him a great ride and he didn’t light him up to do it. Ryan was very impressed with him. He travelled like a dream when he did ask him but he’s still a bit of a baby so he probably would have learned a lot today quickening on that ground. Ryan hadn’t ridden him since in Ascot when he was a real baby. He’s a very exciting horse. I think the St James’s Palace Stakes (at Royal Ascot in June) looks the natural progression for him because he doesn’t look short of speed even though it looks that he will get further in time.” 

The once-raced son of Wootton Basset, Unquestionable, was an impressive winner of the opening TallyHo Stud Irish EBF Maiden. Owned in partnership by Coolmore, Westerberg and Al Shaqab Racing, in whose colours he ran, the French-bred colt had four and a half lengths in hand at the line. 

Third to another Ballydoyle colt, His Majesty, on debut, the Ryan Moore-ridden winner stayed on the stands’ side throughout the race and moved impressively clear to put daylight between himself and his rivals.

Mr Saturday, a son of Blue Point, took the runner-up spot for trainer and jockey combination Ger Lyons and Colin Keane, while Temple Of Hera, was a further length back in third for handler Michael O’Callaghan and rider Billy Lee.

The Gain Marble Hill Stakes over six furlongs saw Sir Majesty, winner of the Listed First Flier Stakes on debut, when the aforementioned Unquestionable was third, go to post a short 13/8 favourite.

In a head-bopping finish between three, Givemethebeatboys gave Jessica Harrington the win, ahead of Paddy Twomey’s Noche Magica, with the race favourite in third, with only a head and a head separating the first three home. 

Sunday, The Curragh will host two Group 1 races on an eight-race programme. The Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, the first fillies’ classic of the season in Ireland, will be the day’s feature.

In the other Group 1, the Tattersalls Gold Cup will see the winner and third in last season’s Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes, Luxembourg and Vadeni, clash over 1 mile 2 furlongs and 110 yards at Irish flat racing’s headquarters. 

Contributing Authors

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Breandán Ó hUallacháin writes about Irish, British, French and Australian horseracing, both National Hunt and Flat. He has an interest in the history of racing...

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@jonathanstettin another excellent day for the man who does it best. Thx Jon &@Tracking_Trips. Hoping you have some thoughts for tomorrow!

Kevin West @KFWest003 View testimonials