Horse Racing

Watch: Tributes Paid To 79-Year-Old Trainer Jim Bolger After 2000 Guineas Win

Watch: Tributes Paid To 79-Year-Old Trainer Jim Bolger After 2000 Guineas Win

Irish eyes have been drawn to Punchestown this week, with the festival running all the way through to this weekend - but there was also a sensational Irish triumph across the water on Saturday. Irish jockey Kevin Manning and trainer Jim Bolger took victory in the 2000 Guineas Stakes, one of the biggest races of the flat racing season.

The 2000 Guineas is the first of the 'Triple Crown' of the English racing season, and the race was one befitting of its iconic status. Approaching the finish, it was still up for grabs, with four horses within a length of each other at one stage on the approach to the finish line.

54-year-old Kevin Manning pushed Poetic Flare on in the final 2 furlongs to triumph in a dramatic photo finish. It was the jockey's second win in the 2000 Guineas, having previously won the race in 2013.

All of the talk after the race, though, was reserved for Poetic Flare's trainer, Jim Bolger.

The 79-year-old from Oylegate in County Wexford has a long history in the sport, having apprenticed AP McCoy, Aidan O'Brien and Paul Carberry.

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Pundits on Virgin Media were in awe of Bolger's achievement, not only given his age, but his past experience with Poetic Flare's lineage.

It was a hugely popular triumph in Suffolk, with universal praise given not only to Bolger, but to the quality of the race run by Manning and Poetic Flare.

Manning said that his horse's start was almost too quick, and it took a while for him to steady - but once he did, there was no looking back.

He’s usually a very switched off horse who takes everything in his stride, but he left the gates very quick and on the wrong note and it just took a furlong and a half or two furlongs to reorganise and get into a rhythm.

He just caught me off guard coming out of the gates and I had to sit and suffer, but I didn’t feel he was taking as much out of himself as it might have looked.

Going down into the dip, when he quickened up I thought he’d put it to bed. In the last five or six strides he was just idling a little bit and coming back underneath me.

It’s great to get to the other side of it!

Some going, and yet another Irish triumph on English soil. No complaints from us.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Honeysuckle & Rachael Blackmore Survive Late Drama To Win Champion Hurdle

 

Eoin Harrington

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