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Andrea Calo 1st May 2009 - 18:28

Follow Johnny for the 2,000 Guineas winner

JOHNNY MURTAGH will have his pick of two joint second-favourites for the Stan James 2,000 Guineas on Saturday – and punters would be advised to follow the former Champion Jockey’s pick when betting on the race.

The Aidan O’Brien/Murtagh combination landed a Guineas double with Henrythenavigator last season – and whoever Murtagh rides in this year’s renewal has got to be the biggest threat to favourite Delegator.

At the 48-hour declaration stage O’Brien has Rip Van Winkle and Mastercraftsman left in the race. Both were joint 4/1 second-favourites behind the Craven Stakes winner in the 2,000 Guineas betting before the book was reformed after the declarations.

On paper, both O’Brien’s horses have good claims to land the opening Classic of the season. And the choice of jockey could be the deciding factor.

Apart from the fact that Murtagh has demonstrated the skill, the experience and the nerve needed to land big races time and time again, the jockey choice will show which horse O’Brien himself thinks has the better chance of winning. And after the way his Ballydoyle outfit dominated last year’s Group 1 horse races, who are we to argue?

So I’ll be keeping my powder dry until Murtagh’s choice is announced – and then shamelessly copying his selection.

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