RACING Post Trophy runner-up Johann Strauss could finish only third after a troubled passage in the Ross Nugent Foundation Maiden at Leopardstown yesterday.
One of Aidan O'Brien's Classic prospects, the 4/5 favourite was held up in the rain-softened ground as stablemate Illusive and Le Troisieme Gris set the pace.
Joseph O'Brien made his move early in the straight and went for a gap on the inside, but it was closed by Kevin Manning on the eventual winner Fiscal Focus (5/2).
Jim Bolger's colt just held Boqa by a nose, with Johann Strauss a never-nearer third.
Bolger said: "We won't know how good he is until we get the better ground, but he'll do me for the moment.
"I'd say that run will leave him right.
"He's a good sort. I like him and I think he has prospects."
The narrowly-beaten Boqa is trained by Tommy Stack, who took the Bulmers Live at Leopardstown Summer Racedays 2014 Fillies Maiden with the newcomer Waltzing Matilda (3/1).
The daughter of Danehill Dancer is likely to return to the Dublin track for the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial on May 11.
Stack's son and assistant, Fozzy, said: "They didn't go much of a gallop and it turned into a sprint, which wasn't ideal.
"She wants a mile and a quarter – she's quite nice but she's still big, raw and green. She can only improve.
"I was going to enter her in the Athasi Stakes but I thought it was a bit short for her.
"She'll probably come back here for the Guineas Trial."