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Bolger breeds success

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15 September 2012; Dawn Approach, with Kevin Manning up, on their way to winning the Goffs Vincent O'Brien Stakes. Curragh Racecourse, the Curragh, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

15 September 2012; Dawn Approach, with Kevin Manning up, on their way to winning the Goffs Vincent O'Brien Stakes. Curragh Racecourse, the Curragh, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

15 September 2012; Dawn Approach, with Kevin Manning up, on their way to winning the Goffs Vincent O'Brien Stakes. Curragh Racecourse, the Curragh, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

THE wider sporting circle in Ireland may not be entirely aware of it, but trainer Jim Bolger has been one of the country's big sporting success stories.

He has worked hard, learning the hard way to build an empire through proper graft and he is renowned as a tough taskmaster.

The empire the proud Wexford native has created has sent out winner after winner and is showing no sign of slowing down after a phenomenal start to the current season.

Bolger has won the Champion Stakes on both sides of the Irish Sea, and, more importantly, he has won the Derby both in his native land and across the water.

As a trainer, he has earned the utmost respect, but as a breeder, in recent seasons, Bolger has turned heads and wowed even the hardest to impress, attracting the biggest, most powerful names in the sport.

 

Glamorous

Despite all the success, the opening Classic of the season, the glamorous English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, still eludes him.

For the entire winter, Bolger has kept a watchful eye over the antepost favourite and real talking point of tomorrow's highly anticipated Newmarket showpiece.

A quick recap will refresh the minds that Bolger unleashed Dawn Approach in the opening two-year-old maiden of the Irish Flat season last year and, after winning that, he remained unbeaten in five subsequent starts, winning the Group One Vincent O'Brien Stakes at the Curragh and the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

Those last two wins saw his jockey Kevin Manning wear different colours to those he wore in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot as the colt had been sold for an undisclosed (and unimaginable) fee to the powerful Sheikh Mohammed-owned Godolphin operation.

Add in the fact that Bolger bred the Guineas favourite and he was a superb advertisement for new sire on the block New Approach – Bolger's 2008 Derby winner – and you have a story.

A chapter that we probably weren't expecting was that after the high-profile purchase, Dawn Approach would remain under that watchful Bolger eye this season.

Another twist we definitely weren't expecting was that Dawn Approach would be the first runner of any note from Sheikh Mohammed's famous Godolphin operation since an incredible story that rocked racing just last week.

Jim Bolger couldn't be any further removed from Mahmood al-Zarooni or the use of banned substances, and Sheikh Mohammed will now be keen to see Dawn Approach win tomorrow to further take the attention off that particular story. To see Dawn Approach win would give Bolger the satisfaction of training, breeding and mastering his first English 2000 Guineas with a horse he has nurtured from day one.

In recent years, Teofilo and New Approach both looked ideal Guineas candidates for Bolger, the former being ruled out of ever running as a three-year-old through injury and New Approach just collared in the Guineas before he went on to bigger and better things.

It speaks wonders of Bolger that Sheikh Mohammed, one of the most powerful men in the whole of racing, never flinched after last year's Dewhurst when asked where the horse would be trained in 2013 and responding by stating he would be staying put.

Recent events maybe proved how wise a decision that was, but we didn't need recent events to tell us what a genius Bolger is and hopefully he will once again prove that tomorrow courtesy of Dawn Approach.


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