Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bolger on fire with Curragh four-timer

Jim Bolger made a flying start to the Irish turf season at the Curragh with a brilliant 194/1 four-timer.

The veteran trainer began his rout by winning the Tally Ho Stud EBF Maiden for the third year running. Saburo (5/4 favourite) made a winning debut just 12 months after Bolger won it with leading Classic hope Dawn Approach.

Saburo, owned by Sheikh Mohammed, asserted close home to score nicely by two-and-a-quarter lengths, with My Sapphire finishing well to snatch second. "You couldn't be confident, especially with the going the way it is," said Bolger. "I'm glad he's done it and hopefully he will go more or less the same route as Dawn Approach."

Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning quickly added to their tally when newcomer Caesaria denied Master Speaker in the Big Bad Bob Maiden. These two had the race to themselves from over a furlong out and it was Bolger's three-year-old colt (5/1) which held on by a head.

The master of Coolcullen made it a hat-trick when Rory Cleary steered Rehn's Nest (9/2) to victory in the Group Three Lodge Park Stud EBF Park Express Stakes.

Quickening

Rehn's Nest was never far off the pace and joined leader More Than Sotka a furlong out before quickening to beat 8/11 favourite Yellow Rosebud by nearly two lengths. "She gets through the ground, which is a big help," said Bolger. "I've her in the Oaks and I think she'll get a mile and a half."

Alpinist (13/8) finished the foursome when taking the closing one-mile maiden to give Manning a treble. He was a gutsy half-length scorer from Silver Lightening.

Sweet Lightning (10/1) added the BetVictor Irish Lincolnshire to his success in the British version two years ago when running away with the valuable handicap over a mile.

The eight-year-old struck at Doncaster, when trained by Michael Dods, and completed the Lincoln double under Johnny Murtagh for owner Andrew Tinkler and Irish handler Tommy Carmody.

Aidan O'Brien got off the mark for the season when Francis Of Assisi outpointed the Bolger representative Einsteins Folly in the Gabriel Curran Memorial Madrid Handicap.

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