Bolger plans Banimpire raid
Jim Bolger reminded the racing world that he remains a man never to be underestimated when he brought Parish Hall across the Irish Sea to win the Dewhurst last weekend. Now, Bolger is lining up a raid on Britain's richest card, the QIPCO Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.
Bolger confirmed yesterday Banimpire is to make the trip, but he has not decided in which race she runs as yet -- with entries in the mile-and-a-half British Champions Fillies' And Mares' Stakes and the day's feature, the Champion Stakes over a mile-and-a-quarter.
"It really doesn't make much difference as she is a course and distance winner (Royal Ascot's Ribblesdale Stakes) as far as the fillies' race is concerned and has won over a mile-and-a-quarter. She's very well in herself," he said.
Whatever target is chosen, it could be her final start for Bolger as she is due to be sold and has a date at Goffs Sales in December. Bolger had no hesitation in declaring Banimpire one of the toughest he has trained. She has raced 15 times, for seven wins, one second and three thirds, and at Ascot she will be having her 12th start of the year.
Parish Hall is finished for the season and will be rested before being trained for next year's Derby. Bolger said he felt the colt had plenty of potential.
"He's 16.1 (hands) and weighs 485 kilos. He's out of a mare by Montjeu, so by the time he is three he should be stronger and heavier. He has great scope," the Coolcullen supremo said.
Meanwhile, the whip row continues to rumble on across-channel after the new guidelines were introduced on Monday.
At Leicester yesterday Silvestre de Sousa believed that he would have won on odds-on Zoowraa had he been allowed to use his whip close home. De Sousa put his whip down and the filly finished second to Avon Lady.
"I felt that if I had been able to give her a few more smacks she would have kept her momentum and been able to win. I didn't want to risk getting a suspension," he said.
De Sousa did record a double courtesy of Cravat and Tartan Gigha to move onto 136 winners for the season, but still trails leader Paul Hanagan (146) and Kieren Fallon (138) in the race for the jockeys' title.
At Newcastle, Fallon also recorded a double, thanks to Damascus Symphony and Flameoftheforest, whereas Hanagan had to settle for one winner aboard Saytara. Fallon will serve a two-day suspension today and tomorrow.
Elsewhere, at Huntingdon jump jockey Paul Moloney was adamant that the penalties for breaking the rules are out of proportion to the offence.
"If a jockey hits his horse once too many times, he doesn't get paid and I think that's a disgrace," he said.
"The winning owner and trainer can go home on cloud nine, but the jockey has to go home with his tail between his legs.
"I've got a family to feed and all I can say is not one jump jockey (at Huntingdon) is happy about the penalties." (© Daily Telegraph, London)