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Cub can grab lion's share to maintain Bolger's flying start

Jim Bolger's unrelenting start to the Flat season switches to Dundalk this evening, when the Coolcullen wizard has three chances of adding to the trio of winners that he has already netted there in recent weeks.

Boasting a 36pc strike-rate with 13 winners from 36 runners, Bolger's tally is more than the aggregate of the next three names in the handlers' table.

Each of his runners tonight could add to that, with Confident Cub the nap choice off bottom weight in the mile handicap.

Among others, Long Journey Home, second here over further on in its first Flat start for Danny O'Sullivan since switching from John Oxx's care, is respected under top-weight.

The same applies to Peter Fahey's Paddy Stanley, which finished a respectable third at the Louth venue when last seen in February.

However, Confident Cub showed enough on his reappearance in January to suggest that he might be ready to shed his maiden tag at the 12th attempt.

On that occasion, he kept on well over this trip to be fourth to Atlas Peak off the same mark that he gets in off here. If he improves, Kevin Manning's mount could be hard to beat now.

The in-form duo will also have a big say in the preceding Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies' Maiden with Iveta.

This is a modest heat, and Tommy Carmody's Poly Pomona, likewise fourth to Atlas Peak on its latest outing last week, arguably has the most solid credentials.

Nonetheless, Bolger's four-year-old finished a clear second to the useful 78-rated Fastidious over seven furlongs at Gowran Park in September.

On her only start since in November, she found the six-furlong trip too short here, so the step up to a mile may suit today.

Ere Yesterday is Bolger's other runner in the six-furlong maiden, but it's hard to see beyond Master Speaker for his former protege Aidan O'Brien in this.

Chinned by Bolger's Cesaria on its Curragh debut under the Ballydoyle maestro's champion jockey son Joseph, Master Speaker looks by some way the most precocious prospect of the six runners on duty.

David Wachman, who has a 50pc win ratio from his eight runners to date, can take the three-year-old handicap with the Wayne Lordan-ridden Love And Cherish.

Irish Independent