Thursday 23 November 2017

Bolger: No rush on Gilgamboa target

Jockey Mark Walsh, with JP McManus (left) and trainer Enda Bolger, after riding Gilgamboa to win the Hurdle
Jockey Mark Walsh, with JP McManus (left) and trainer Enda Bolger, after riding Gilgamboa to win the Hurdle

Thomas Kelly

Enda Bolger insists connections are in no hurry to decide whether to let Saturday's Hurdle winner Gilgamboa bid for another major prize in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 8.

The JP McManus-owned six-year-old was among the leading contenders for Saturday's valuable handicap following a narrow triumph at Punchestown on New Year's Eve and ran out an impressive winner in the hands of Mark Walsh.

With the Betfair Hurdle coming up only a fortnight later, Bolger is keen to see how his lightly-raced charge recovers before committing to any targets.

"He has come out of the race in good nick and we won't be making any decision with him (in regards to Newbury) until the end of the week," said the Co Limerick trainer.

"He is in good form after Leopardstown but there will be no decision made for another week."

Bolger also declared satisfaction with the performance of Quantitativeeasing in a Nenagh point-to-point on Sunday. The nine-year-old finished third in a race won by Burren River, with former Lexus Chase winner Pandorama splitting the pair in second.

Bolger explained: "We were pleased with him. He hadn't raced since the Kerry National so he had his first run back and it will do him the world of good. He might now go for the Hunters Chase at Leopardstown (the Raymond Smith Memorial Hunters Chase on February 9)."

Bolger's fellow Limerick handler Charles Byrnes has ruled out bringing Solwhit back in the spring and is looking forward to next season with his champion staying hurdler.

The winner of last season's Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham was forced to miss his intended first run of the winter at Leopardstown over Christmas due to a fetlock injury.

Cheltenham in March was deemed off the radar earlier this month, but while the injury is not serious, Byrnes is resisting the temptation to get the eight-time Grade One winner ready for Aintree or Punchestown.

"He's fine, but I'd say we have no plans really to run him again this season," said Byrnes.

Meanwhile, Layla Joan ensured the large Irish raiding party to Ayr yesterday would not leave Scotland empty-handed after her effortless victory in the opening mares' novice hurdle.

Gordon Elliott's former pointer was backed into 4/11 favourite and she followed up her comfortable Rules debut at Fairyhouse by cruising three-and-a-quarter lengths clear of Nosey Box in the hands of Jason Maguire.

Irish Independent

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