Tuesday 12 December 2017

Jim Bolger's policy justified after Pleascach victory

Jim Bolger's Pleascach won the opening juvenile maiden at Leopardstown (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Jim Bolger's Pleascach won the opening juvenile maiden at Leopardstown (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Thomas Kelly

Jim Bolger is never afraid to turn out horses quickly after a run and Pleascach reaped the benefit of this policy with an impressive success in the opening juvenile maiden at Leopardstown.

The daughter of Teofilo had only made her debut in a Group Three at the Curragh on Sunday, but it was an eye-catching one as she finished strongly to post a creditable fourth to I Am Beautiful.

The run also caught the eye of punters who backed her into 9/10 favourite and the experience at headquarters was clearly not lost on her as she travelled handily on the heels of Seamie Heffernan's mount Simply A Star. However, Kevin Manning had every move covered and, once asked, the market leader eased clear for a two and three quarter length success.

Bolger, who later completed a double when Spring Focus took the ten-furlong handicap, said: "She's very green, she's done nothing, she just came to hand very quick, so we said we'd give her a race at the Curragh. She didn't have a hard race as she didn't know what to do.

"She didn't quite get it all together, but she showed the benefit of the run. She's my Guineas/Oaks filly."

Dermot Weld was also in double winning form as Flic Flac (7/1) landed the seven-furlong handicap under apprentice Robbie Downey before Fran Berry drove Pacelli Road to a 16/1 success in the Independence Day Handicap.

Bertie Le Belge maintained his unbeaten record for the in-form Ger Lyons with victory in the two-year-old conditions event. It was quite a dramatic win, as Itorio had made virtually all and it appeared as though he would do enough before faltering late on, almost colliding with the running rail.

Bertie Le Belge finished well for Colin Keane and the 7/4 favourite got up with half a length in hand.

"I never thought for a moment up the straight he would win," Lyons said. "I don't think he learned as much as I'd have liked at the Curragh. He won, but he didn't really benefit from the race

"It was like his first run tonight, there's plenty of improvement in him and you'd have to love his attitude. That's as fast as he would want it, he'll get further but we'll take our time with him as he probably had a hard race and you'd not want to be backing him up. The Futurity down the road is the aim.

Aidan O'Brien's Group One-entered Toscanelli was a disappointing third.

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