Wednesday 19 December 2018

Bolger on the double at Roscommon

Trainer Jim Bolger
Trainer Jim Bolger

Thomas Kelly

It might not have been a good weekend for Wexford GAA, with defeats for both hurlers and footballers, but Jim Bolger kept the purple and gold flying at Roscommon last night by the landing the featured EBF fillies handicap.

Bolger - a long-time supporter of his native Slaneysiders - struck with Dream Of Words in the seven-furlong contest.

Kevin Manning settled the daughter of Dream Ahead (6/1) in mid-division before going in pursuit of the leaders turning into the home straight.

Thiswaycadeaux and Honour Oak shared the lead at the furlong pole, but Manning delivered Bolger's charge out wide as both she and the Ger Lyons-trained Artistic Melody challenged late, with Dream Of Words prevailing by a neck.

Just over a length back in third was 7/4 favourite Wisdom Mind which failed to get a clear run but stayed on well late to make the frame.

Bolger and Manning went on to record a 76/1 double in the 10-furlong handicap as Dawn Hoofer galloped impressively clear of his rivals to claim the spoils.

Quickly sent into the lead, the daughter of Dawn Approach was always in control and despite wandering in the final furlong, she still had four lengths to spare over runner-up Machiavelli.

Aidan O'Brien's 1,000 Guineas third Happily is one of five potential runners for Ballydoyle in the French Oaks at Chantilly on Sunday.

O'Brien has never previously won the French fillies' classic, but Happily - third in English and Irish 1,000 Guineas - is entered along with recent Fairyhouse maiden winner Athena, Epsom Oaks third Bye Bye Baby, Easter Lily and Sizzling.

The two remaining British hopefuls are Charlie Appleby's Wild Illusion and Laurens from Karl Burke's yard. Wild Illusion was fourth in the English Guineas and second in the Epsom Oaks, while Laurens was runner-up in the Newmarket Classic before going one better in a Group One at Longchamp.

Elsewhere, the Adrian Keatley-trained London Icon could miss Royal Ascot next week as he's likely to head to Hong Kong this summer.

A winner of a minor conditions race at Navan on his most recent outing, Keatley was eyeing a tilt at either the St James's Palace or the Jersey Stakes at Ascot, but plans are now on hold.

Keatley said: "He might go to Ascot or he might not. We'll see what the owner (Simon Kwok) wants to do.

"It was part of the deal when the owner bought the horse last year that he would go to Hong Kong. I was to keep him up until Ascot, so we'll see."

Irish Independent

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