Irish 2,000 Guineas

The Irish 2,000 Guineas is first leg of the Irish Triple Crown series, completed by the Irish Derby and the Irish St. Leger Stakes. The series is modelled on the original Triple Crown hosted in England and has become just as popular as the English counterpart.

The race is hosted annually in May at Curragh Racecourse and is open to thoroughbred colts and fillies aged three. It runs over the distance of one mile and awards a purse of €400,000. The Irish 2,000 Guineas were introduced in 1921, one year before the inauguration of the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the equivalent race open only to three-year-old fillies.

Today the Irish 2,000 Guineas is an internationally acclaimed event, followed all over the world and including thoroughbreds from the finest international stables. Contenders who have done well in the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, the English equivalent of the Irish race, often go on to compete in the event at the Curragh; in the race's history seven 2,000 Guineas Stakes runners have recorded victories in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

By the same token, runners who do well in the Irish 2,000 Guineas are likely to go on to compete in the St. James's Palace Stakes at the Royal Ascot Festival in June. This shows that the Irish 2,000 Guineas have truly become an important event in any Group 1 race horse's three-year-old season; in fact a win at this race is now considered just as prestigious as a victory in an English equivalent.

Irish horse training icon Aidan O'Brien is currently holding the title of most successful trainer at the Irish 2,000 Guineas Stakes after training six winners of the event, most recently the fantastic runner Canford Cliffs, who incidentally went on to win the St. James's Palace Stakes at the 2010 Royal Ascot Festival.

Recent Winners of the Irish 2,000 Guineas:

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time


Canford Cliffs

Richard Hughes

Richard Hannon




Johnny Murtagh

Aidan O'Brien




Johnny Murtagh

Aidan O'Brien



Cockney Rebel

Olivier Peslier

Geoff Huffer




Alan Munro

Jeremy Noseda




Frankie Dettori

Saeed Bin Suroor

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