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Bolger has the strike rate to mix it up at Festival


Enda Bolger. Photo: Caroline Norris

Enda Bolger. Photo: Caroline Norris

Enda Bolger. Photo: Caroline Norris

STRIKE rates are a real true reflection on how good a trainer is performing and, in the last couple of seasons, it was Ted Walsh who excelled as far as this stat was concerned and, of those training 10 or more winners, Walsh, for a long time, was second only to Willie Mullins' strike rate.

This year, a man whose strike rate jumps off the page at you is Enda Bolger. Gilgamboa has flown the flag fairly well this year for the man who is normally more associated with the cross-country or point-to-point fields, but a strike rate of 23 pc shows he can fairly mix it up given the right ammunition.

Bolger has only run 16 different horses this season, but, from 53 runners, he has enjoyed 12 winners and, of the 35 trainers to have trained seven or more winners over jumps this season, he is second only to Willie Mullins in that category. Indeed, Bolger also has a 20pc strike rate with his point-to-point runners this term.

Martin Brassil and John Nallen deserve mention here also, as does Dermot Weld, as they have 25pc, 26pc and 21pc respectively, but, when it comes to having a €1 stake on Bolger's runners, you would have an alarming profit of €42.13, which compared to Willie Mullins, you would be losing €115.13.

Looking at Cheltenham and Bolger has the recently acquired Mossey Joe and On The Fringe for the Foxhunters as well as last Sunday's Punchestown winner Love Rory leading his team for the Cross Country Chase and, of course, the aforementioned Gilgamboa, who looks overpriced at 33/1 for the Supreme Novice Hurdle in my opinion, so Bolger has a lot to look forward to.