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Apprentice ace Whelan pays back Bolger faith

RONAN WHELAN capped off his apprentice-winning season with a fine double on Sunday's Leopardstown card, as his boss Jim Bolger again piled his faith in the youngster by handing him some good rides in the absence of the suspended Kevin Manning.

Whelan was seen to good effect on many occasions this season and ended the campaign with 31 winners to his credit.

Manning is not likely to be in a rush anywhere soon with the likes of Dawn Approach to look forward to next year, but with Whelan and Rory Cleary ready to step in if and when Manning is not available, Jim Bolger certainly has able deputies to call upon.

Whelan certainly looks to be another of a long string of jockeys who served a valuable apprenticeship under the Wexford man.