Saturday 18 August 2018

Theobald can thrive at Curragh for red-hot Bolger

Trainer Jim Bolger. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Jim Bolger. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Jim Bolger is always a man to keep on the right side of when his horses start hitting form and he may have the answer with Theobald in today's feature race - the Listed McDonnell's Bar June Fest Silver Stakes (3.55) - at the Curragh.

It's a rare weekend to catch breath after a hectic start to the Irish Flat season with today's seven-race card at the Kildare track the only action on these shores, but there's plenty of teasers for punters to solve.

Bolger landed a similar contest at Leopardstown on Thursday night with Zorion and the Coolcullen supremo looks to have caught fire after a slow start to the new season with eight winners in the last 14 days.

This is a race Bolger and son-in-law Kevin Manning have dominated in recent years, winning three of the last eight runnings, and while the form figures of Theobald might not inspire confidence, the son of Teofilo looks like a progressive sort when you dig a little deeper.

Seventh in the Irish 2,000 Guineas behind Romanised two weeks ago, Bolger (right) always reckoned that a step up in trip from a mile would see him at his best and he has kept good company thus far.

Of his nine career runs, he has contested three Group Ones and four Group Threes - twice placed in Group Threes as a juvenile - and on the other two occasions he has prevailed (on debut at Leopardstown and at Dundalk before Christmas).

This will be far more down his street and the 13lbs he receives from top-weight Mustajeer is a major plus. Ger Lyons's charge was fourth behind Cliffs Of Moher in the Group Two Mooresbridge Stakes at Naas last month but conceding weight to younger, unexposed rivals may be too stiff a task.

Of the others, Lyons's second string Tennessee Wildcat comes here after a good fourth behind Zorion two days ago but there's nothing to suggest enough improvement to see him into the winners' enclosure, while Jessica Harrington's I'm So Fancy hasn't got her head in front since October 2016.

Godolphin finally broke their Epsom Derby duck last weekend with Masar and the boys in blue are represented with Willie McCreery's top-weight Snowstar their sole runner as the filly tackles the Keadeen Hotel Supporting Newbridge Parish Handicap (3.20).

The daughter of Raven's Pass looks poorly-handicapped (races off 93 but wins came off 70 and 79), however, and preference is for Rattling Jewel, which left a string of disappointing runs behind when coming home second best in a Naas handicap on his first run for Joseph O'Brien.

Irish Independent

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