Sunday 21 January 2018

Bolger's Leitir Mor gets back in groove ahead of Ascot test

Trainer Jim Bolger
Trainer Jim Bolger

Thomas Kelly

LEITIR MOR was ultra-game under pressure as he got up in the shadow of the post to land the seven-furlong Ballycorus Stakes at Leopardstown.

Lily's Angel made a brave bid from the front and looked like she'd just hang on as the pack closed. But Kevin Manning was in never-say-die mood on Leitir Mor (13/2), which got the verdict by a neck.

Jim Bolger's charge is now set to join stablemate Dawn Approach in the St James' Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, when he will be ridden by Ronan Whelan.

Club Wexford (11/10 favourite) impressed in winning the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden, while Willie McCreery's improving filly Fiesolana won the Ballyogan Stakes in tremendous style.

The daughter of Aussie Rules struck three times for Jean-Claude Rouget and landed a big handicap at the Curragh last month on just her second start on Irish soil.

Sent off at 10/1 on her return to Listed level, Colm O'Donoghue's mount was never far off the pace set by the Jane Cecil-trained favourite Tickled Pink, which finished out of the places.

Quickly to the front from her draw in stall one, it looked like Tom Queally's mount might pull off a famous success, but she was challenged in the straight on either side and had to settle for fifth.

A minute's silence was held before the race, with the jockeys lining up in the parade ring to pay their respects to the late Henry Cecil. His wife Jane had better luck earlier as Morpheus – a half-brother to Frankel – won at Nottingham and Songbird obliged at Yarmouth.

Irish Independent

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