05/24/2008 12:00AM

Henrythenavigator beats New Approach


Henrythenavigator established himself as the best miler in Europe at the Curragh on Saturday with a handy victory in the $631,000 Irish 2000 Guineas, once again getting the best of last year’s European juvenile champion New Approach.

Fresh from a nose triumph over New Approach in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket three weeks ago, Henrythenvaigator, sent off at 5-4, stalked the easy pace of New Approach, the 11-10 favorite, in third before quickening to lead at the sixteenth pole. A Kingmambo colt, Henrythenvaigator barely had to be nudged to the finish in recording a 1 3/4-length victory, clocking a tepid 1:39.60 on an unusually firm turf course at the Curragh.

Stubbs Art was another 3 1/2 lengths back in third, providing this Irish Guineas with the same one-two-three finish as the English Guineas. Henrythenavigator’s Aidan O’Brien-trained stablemate Jupiter Pluvious was fourth, while last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Nownownow, making his first start for Irish-based trainer David Wachman, trailed home last of five, beaten 15 1/4 lengths in a race in which Famous Name, Windsor Castle and Sammy the Snake were all scratched because of the firm going.

Henrythenavigator joins Cockney Rebel (2007) and Rock of Gibraltar (2002) as winners of both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas in the last seven years. His next race will be either the one-mile St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17 or the 1 1/2-mile Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 29, when he could again run into New Approach, a son of Galileo who at this stage looks very much in need of distances longer than a mile.