Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 22 March 2018

Double delight on cards for Bolger

Jim Bolger will be hoping that the partnership of Kevin Manning and Gile Na Greine can score at Bellewstown tonight.
Jim Bolger will be hoping that the partnership of Kevin Manning and Gile Na Greine can score at Bellewstown tonight.

Damien McElroy

There's a plentiful menu for racing enthusiasts to choose from on the home front later today, with several smart Flat-race fillies and mares in action at Tipperary as the jumpers bring down the curtain on the ever-popular Bellewstown's 2010 schedule.

It's no surprise that English trainer Ralph Beckett withdrew both Miss Zooter and Forest Crown from the featured Fairy Bridge Stakes at the Limerick Junction venue when he realised this Listed prize was being coveted by virtually all the leading Irish trainers.

For example, Jim Bolger will no doubt be very hopeful of his home-bred Galileo filly Gile Na Greine, which has generally been competing well at Group One level this year, returning to winning ways in this lower grade for constant partner Kevin Manning.

Her current rating of 115 suggests Bolger's charge, which arguably ran her best races on a decent surface at Newmarket in the English Guineas and when beating all except Lillie Langtry for the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, should be very much at home here.

While this evening's seven-and-a-half-furlong trip might be slightly on the sharp side, the 14-runner race is unlikely to devolve into a tactical affair and Gile Na Greine may have the pace to relegate the likes of Emulous and Lolly For Dolly to the minor places.

The Bolger-Manning partnership likewise could be on the mark with another of the Galileo progeny that have done remarkably well for the Coolcullen stable in recent seasons when Priomhbhean tackles the much more modest Costello Tavern Handicap, the nine-furlong final leg of the Jackpot in which Good Time Sue and the former Bolger inmate Sixteen Forty Two share top weight.


Pat Flynn's well-exposed Tramore scorer Final Flashback could emerge as the principal threat to Priomhbhean in the colours of Ennistown Stud, for whom she made a winning debut at Leopardstown before running a fair fourth to Simla Sunset on her handicap debut there over a mile.

The Coolcullen team give the enigmatic Purple Land his handicap debut in the Jackpot opener, but he's proving expensive to follow and preference is for Cinnin Oir, despite a 6lb penalty for her most recent victory at Galway, from John Geoghegan's small-scale yard.

Rock Medley is yet another runner here with place prospects for Bolger and Manning in the Ballykisteen Rated Race even if the spoils appear destined instead for John Oxx and Fran Berry with Hanakiyya, despite the Danehill Dancer filly's failure to justify favouritism in Roscommon behind Dainty.

Meanwhile, the honours on the National Hunt scene at Bellewstown look set to be shared by Tony Martin and Ruby Walsh, who combined for a well-executed Ballinrobe double last Sunday and can replicate that feat now much closer to home.

Dream Champion, which wasn't scoring out of turn when favourite at the Mayo venue, resumes under a mandatory 4lb penalty in the Tote Trifecta Rollover Handicap Hurdle with a step up in trip here hardly likely to prove his undoing, even allowing for the fact that Bandama, Ahorsecalledmolly and Wreckitman likewise boast winning form last time out.

Pat Martin's Irish Poli should not be underestimated either.

The enduring Martin-Walsh alliance provide the nap selection as Pires resumes over obstacles in the Anglo Printers Hurdle following a decent Flat effort earlier this month at Haydock, when fifth of 15 in the mile-and-a-quarter handicap won by Hot Prospect.

That first outing for the 116-rated Generous gelding since being narrowly defeated by Avanti Albert at Dundalk last November should leave Walsh's mount primed to outpace Stakers off a mark of 113 plus joint top weights Auenschutze and Hasaratan.

Irish Independent

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