Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 16 December 2017

Flight Risk takes off as Bolger lands Curragh treble

Jockey Kevin Manning
Jockey Kevin Manning

Thomas Kelly

Flight risk sprang a massive 50/1 surprise in the Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes as trainer Jim Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning landed a stunning 840/1 treble at the Curragh.

The race-fit four-year-old may have been unconsidered in the betting, but he came through with a telling run near the far rail to challenge for the lead inside the final quarter of a mile, and galloped on resolutely to score comfortably by a length and a quarter from another outsider, 33/1 shot Piri Wango.

Bolger said: "Everything fell right and he's on his way. He got bogged down in Cork and the better ground helped. I'd like to come back for something like this on Derby weekend."

Bolger and Manning were completing a double after the victory of the newcomer Mimicking, who led home a one-two for the yard in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

The 2/1 favourite strode clear to beat her always-prominent stablemate Ard San Aer by a length and three-quarters.

"She could go for the Marble Hill (at the Curragh next month) and maybe (Royal) Ascot," said Bolger. "The second is speedy and hopefully he has a future as well."

Better was to come for Manning and Bolger as Parish Hall (9/2) travelled well throughout on the way to landing the Alleged Stakes.

The winner's stablemate Loch Garman, having his first run since finishing unplaced in the French Derby back in June 2013, shaped encouragingly in second, just ahead of Waltzing Matilda in third.

Bolger said of the winner: "The Mooresbridge (at the Curragh on May 4) is a possibility. Loch Garman is on his way back. He got badly carved up in the French Derby the year before last, and it took a while for the wounds to heal."


The former Eve Johnson Houghton-trained Penny Pepper (5/1) opened her account on her debut for Kevin Prendergast in the fillies' maiden.

Prendergast said: "Hopefully she can get some black type. She travelled nicely and was a little bit fresh."

Her in-form jockey Chris Hayes - fresh from a four-timer at Limerick last Wednesday - completed a double on Papa's Way (9/2) in the Clongowes Wood College Bicentenary Handicap.

"Chris had him rolling down the hill and got them on the stretch. He's riding out of his skin at the moment," said trainer Paul Deegan.

In Salutem (11/1) came through strongly inside the final furlong to seal victory in the Cunninghams Of Kildare Handicap for trainer Ken Condon and jockey Shane Foley.

Condon said: "With a penalty for that he'll get into all the good sprint handicaps like the Paddy Power and the Rockingham. He's a favourite in the yard. He probably hasn't won as many as we hoped or he threatened to. He runs plenty of times as he's a sound horse - he always saves a little bit for himself.

"He has always shown plenty of ability in his work. I suppose typical of a lot of sprinters, he's sort of five now and sort of mature now and working nicely.

"He didn't handle the heavy ground the first day of the season and as a consequence was last, but had been working nicely since. The drier ground helped him. He doesn't want it firm, just an ease in the ground is perfect."

Aidan O'Brien took the closing maiden with his supposed second string, the debutant Sandro Botticelli (11/1), ridden by Seamie Heffernan.

Meanwhile, Tom O'Brien was prevented from taking up his only ride of the day at Stratford yesterday after failing an alcohol test.

The stewards took the action after holding an inquiry following a report from the sampling officer.

O'Brien had provided a breath sample which was found to contain alcohol in a concentration above the threshold level.

After having interviewed the Wexford native and the sampling officer, the stewards suspended O'Brien from riding at Stratford and referred the matter to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

O'Brien was replaced by Richard Johnson on the Philip Hobbs-trained No Likey, which went on to finish fourth in the novices handicap chase.

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