Article Date: 20-June-2012
COUNTY Carlow do not win many All-Irelands but two of the county's racehorse trainers, Jim Bolger and Willie Mullins, pulled off a remarkable feat of saddling winners on the opening day of the 2012 Royal Ascot meeting.
Bolger is no stranger to success at this fixture and his unbeaten two-year-old colt was strongly fancied to land the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, which he did by three parts of a length.
The 7/2 chance, a son of New Approach, was also bred by Bolger and carries the colours of his wife Jackie.
The trainer said oh his winner: “He has everything - pace, stamina, the looks, the temperament - and there are no holes in this fellow. I don’t see him going beyond a mile and I don’t want him to. The signs say that he will only stay a mile.
“I have to keep the show on the road, so if somebody makes me an offer I can’t refuse then we would probably have to part with him. I am happy enough to have him for as long as we can have him.
“I will probably give him a little break now. He is a very gross horse, so the break won’t get to be too long. I would say the Futurity Stakes, the National Stakes and, if I can find a space alongside my other two-year-olds, maybe the Dewhurst. If he wins the National Stakes he will be a Group One winner, so if I have another horse that needs to land a Group One he might stay in his box when the Dewhurst is being run. There’s always Longchamp as well and I would hope that he will have three more runs this year. Stepping him up in trip will definitely help him.”
“He’s a bit old-fashioned, having a marvellous temperament and being fairly mature for a two-year-old. He takes everything in his stride, and given that his first three victories were fairly easily gained I wasn’t too worried about running him again. I just hoped he would run to his best.
Kevin Manning, Dawn Approach’s jockey, added: "I didn’t think that we went overly mad early on and we just built up into the race.
“Six furlongs is probably his minimum and it took him a while to hit top gear. When he found top gear inside the last furlong, it was all over.
"I think he is probably as smart a two-year-old as I have ridden. He is winning over a trip that is probably not his best and, when he steps up to seven furlongs, you will see a real horse. He was always giving us the right signals from the start and has a great temperament.
"He has got the right attitude, a great cruising gear and a turn of foot. The ground is not a huge issue and he ticks all of the boxes (for the Guineas). You’ll see more of him."
Trainer Richard Hannon was represented by four runners in the Coventry Stakes and two of them hit the frame with Olympic Glory ridden by Dane O’Neill finishing second and Sir Prancealot finishing fourth under Richard Hughes.
Olympic Glory scored impressively on his debut at Goodwood 11 days ago, while Sir Prancealot had won both his starts, including the Listed National Stakes, in great fashion.
Hannon said: “I’m very happy with Olympic Glory, he has run a super race. He won very easily at Goodwood the other day, but the further he goes the better he will be and he probably wants seven furlongs or a mile now.
“We will look at the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket with him or we will wait until the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
“I think Sir Prancealot ran a good race as well, but we might drop him back to five furlongs now.”
Aidan O’Brien was equally pleased with third-placed Cristoforo Columbo and Lines Of Battle, who finished sixth. O’Brien said: “Cristoforo Columbo ran a great race and Lines Of Battle ran well too. I am delighted with both of them.”
Willie Mullins, who has enjoyed 24 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, trained his first Royal Ascot winner when Simenon ran out an impressive winner of the Ascot Handicap under Ryan Moore.
The five-year-old joined Mullins ahead of the of the 2011 National Hunt season and won twice over hurdles by wide margins, including at Cork on May 25, having previously been trained by Flat handler Andrew Balding.
Mullins said of his 8/1 winner: “I thought the omens were good when Danny Shum had a winner earlier for Hong Kong because he worked for my father in 1978.
“Simenon has improved right throughout the season and I think running over hurdles has taught him to settle. I told Ryan to try and settle him on the rails if he could and turning in I was quite confident as he was still travelling well, but I hoped they hadn’t gone too slowly in front as they would have just run away from him. “
“Ryan had a bit of trouble getting him out, but once he did the horse has done it nicely.
“I think I might leave him here and, depending on how he comes out of the race, we could run him in the Queen Alexandra Stakes on Saturday. We haven’t got any plans for him over jumps and after Saturday we might look at the Ebor.”
David Simcock, trainer of second-placed Al Khawaneej, said: "It was tough for an inexperienced horse like him with 20 runners around here but he ran well. He’s a huge horse and we might give him a break and aim him at the Cesarewitch later in the season, the long straight gallop at Newmarket will suit him better."
Ryan Moore, who rode Simenon to victory in the Ascot Handicap, has been suspended for three days after being found in breach of rule (B)54.1 and guilty of careless riding in that he manoeuvred his mount left into the unplaced Ashbrittle, ridden by Paul Hanagan, when not sufficiently clear. Moore will be suspended on the following days: Tuesday, July 3, Wednesday, July 4, and Thursday, July 5, 2012.
Read Ian Carnaby's Royal Ascot reports in The Irish Field on Saturday. Online from 10.30pm Friday
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