/ Racing

Johann Strauss off key on comeback at Leopardstown

Updated: Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 16:45 | Comments

Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning
Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning

Racing Post Trophy runner-up Johann Strauss could finish only third after a troubled passage in the Ross Nugent Foundation Maiden at Leopardstown.

One of Aidan O'Brien's Classic prospects, the 4-5 favourite was held up in the rain-softened ground as stablemate Illusive and Le Troisieme Gris set the pace.

Joseph O'Brien made his move early in the straight and went for a gap on the inside, but it was closed by Kevin Manning on the eventual winner Fiscal Focus (5-2).

Jim Bolger's colt just held Boqa by a nose, with Johann Strauss a never-nearer third.

Bolger said: "We won't know how good he is until we get the better ground, but he'll do me for the moment.

"I'd say that run will leave him right. He's a good sort. I like him and I think he has prospects."

The narrowly-beaten Boqa is trained by Tommy Stack, who took the  Bulmers Live at Leopardstown Summer Racedays 2014 Fillies Maiden with the newcomer Waltzing Matilda (3-1).

The daughter of Danehill Dancer is likely to return to the Dublin track for the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial on May 11.

Stack's son and assistant, Fozzy, said: "They didn't go much of a gallop and it turned into a sprint, which wasn't ideal.

"She wants a mile and a quarter - she's quite nice but she's still big, raw and green. She can only improve.

"I was going to enter her in the Athasi Stakes but I thought it was a bit short for her.

"She'll probably come back here for the Guineas Trial."

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