Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 22 February 2018

Bolger doubles up as Bunairgead claims feature

Trainer Jim Bolger
Trainer Jim Bolger

Thomas Kelly

JIM Bolger's winning bandwagon rolled into Roscommon last night and came away with success in the featured Lenabane Stakes.

Bolger's string has been in terrific form since the start of the season and the Coocullen maestro continues to produce the goods – this time with progressive filly Bunairgead (9/2).

The daughter of New Approach – which finished eighth behind Just The Judge in the 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh – paid a compliment to Aidan O'Brien's Irish Oaks contender Venus De Milo, a horse she finished third to in the Listed Naas Oaks Trial late last month.

Settled in third behind leader Missunited, the closed 9/2 shot travelled strongly behind the leaders and hit the front with two furlongs left to run.

Rory Cleary's mount galloped clear as O'Brien's El Salvador stayed on to finish two and three parts of a length back in second.

Bunairgead's win completed a double for Bolger, who had struck in the opening juvenile contest with Home School.

The 13/8 favourite disputed the lead with David Wachman's No Wunder for most of the contest before getting to the front as they turned for home.

Trikala moved into second two furlongs out, but Home School galloped on strongly with two lengths to spare.

Pat Shanahan and Tadhg O'Shea combined to land the other two-year-old contest, the auction maiden, with 16/1 outsider Letterfromamerica, while the Ger Lyons-trained Angelas Dream took the fillies handicap under Colin Keane.

Johnny Murtagh guided Belle de Crecy to a facile success in the Property Partners Earley Auctioneers Maiden.

Also trained by the leading jockey at Royal Ascot, the 4/6 favourite followed up with a routine victory as she galloped nine and a half lengths clear of Prima Vista.

Meanwhile, Danny Mullins has lodged an appeal against the 14-day suspension he was given for driving an ambulance back to the weighing room at Bellewstown on Friday evening.

The jump jockey drove the vehicle himself after he had pulled up his mount Private Treasure in the Anglo Printers Novice Hurdle. Mullins explained to the stewards that he felt assistance was slow in coming forward and that in the heat of the moment he jumped into the ambulance so that he had time to weigh out for the following race.

The stewards banned Mullins for 14 race days under Rule 272, which governs behaviour which is prejudicial to the integrity, conduct and good reputation of racing. Irish Turf Club press officer Cliff Noone confirmed the appeal was against the ban and that a date for the hearing will be announced in due course.

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