/ Racing

Jim Bolger team shine at murky Curragh

Updated: Sunday, 24 Mar 2013 18:22 | Comments

Jim Bolger had plenty of reason to smile at a sodden Curragh
Jim Bolger had plenty of reason to smile at a sodden Curragh

Jim Bolger made a flying start to the Irish turf season at the Curragh with a near 194-1 four-timer courtesy of Saburo, Caesaria, Rehn's Nest and Alpinist.

The Coolcullen handler kicked off a memorable day by winning the Tally Ho Stud EBF Maiden for the third year running.

Saburo (5-4 favourite) made a winning debut just 12 months after Bolger won it with leading Classic hope Dawn Approach.

Saburo, owned by Sheikh Mohammed, asserted close home to score nicely by two and a quarter lengths, with My Sapphire finishing well to snatch second.

"You couldn't be confident, especially with the going the way it is," said Bolger.

"I'm glad he's done it and hopefully he will go more or less the same route as Dawn Approach.

"I knew he probably had enough pace for five (furlongs) and I can see him not being short of stamina.

"I'd say he's versatile ground wise, and if you were a punter I'd tell you to follow him until he's beat."

Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning quickly added to their tally when another newcomer, Caesaria, denied Master Speaker in the Big Bad Bob Maiden.

These two had the race to themselves from a furlong and a half out and it was Bolger's three-year-old colt (5-1) who came out on top by a head.

Bolger said: "He handled the ground well and he'll get a mile. We'll probably look for a Listed race now."

Bolger made it a hat-trick when Rory Cleary steered Rehn's Nest (9-2) to victory in the Group Three Lodge Park Stud EBF Park Express Stakes.

Rehn's Nest was never far off the pace as More Than Sotka made the running.

Leading a furlong out, the Bolger-trained filly stayed on too strongly for the 8-11 favourite Yellow Rosebud to score by a length and three-quarters.

Bolger said: "She gets through the ground, which is a big help.

"She's never had faster ground but I don't think she's that ground dependent.

"I have her in the Oaks and I think she'll get a mile and a half.

"Her dam is by Galileo and she was one of the first winners for Galileo."

Alpinist (13-8) finished the foursome when taking the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden to give Manning a treble.

The three-year-colt was a gutsy half-length scorer from Silver Lightening.

Sweet Lightning (10-1) added the BetVictor Irish Lincolnshire to his success in the British version two years ago when running away with the valuable handicap over a mile.

The eight-year-old struck at Doncaster, when trained by Michael Dods, and completed the Lincoln double under Johnny Murtagh for owner Andrew Tinkler and trainer Tommy Carmody.

Inis Meain made the running, as expected, until Sweet Lightning was produced towards the near side to lead over a furlong out.

He soon swept clear to win by three and three-quarter lengths from Cheval Rouge, with Bold Thady Quill third and Inis Meain fourth.

Carmody said: "He's progressing great and improved tremendously over the winter.

"He'll probably come back here in a couple of weeks for the Listed Alleged Stakes."

Aidan O'Brien got off the mark for the season when Francis Of Assisi outpointed the Bolger representative, Einsteins Folly, in the Gabriel Curran Memorial Madrid Handicap.

O'Brien's son, Joseph, drove the heavily-supported 11-10 favourite into the lead over a furlong out and he stretched out in taking fashion to land the spoils.

O'Brien said: "He's a nice horse, a very well-bred horse.

"Jim's horses are on fire, so we were delighted.

"He's lazy, that's why he had cheekpieces on, but he found plenty.

"I don't think he'll have any problems stepping up a little bit (in class).

"He won't mind stepping up to a mile."

Srucahan (4-1) carried on where he left off in the autumn when making a successful reappearance in the Macari's Supporting The Kildare Rose Handicap.

Winner of his last two starts in October, the Paul Deegan-trained four-year-old steamed away from his rivals inside the final furlong to complete a hat-trick by a length and a half from Joe Eile.

Deegan said: "He's a progressive little sprinter and he is going the right way.

"The Listed race at Cork next weekend could be an option. We'll see how he comes out of this."

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