Jim Bolger once again proved himself to be a master of his craft as Poetic Flare edged out Master Of The Seas in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Bolger won the race in 2013 with Dawn Approach – the sire of Poetic Flare – but this success will mean even more coming as it did in his wife Jackie’s silks.
As ever, Bolger employed his son-in-law Kevin Manning in the saddle, so the Classic success was a real family affair.
Handy throughout as Naval Crown set a very stiff gallop, the winner found himself right in the firing line with a furlong to run.
Master Of The Seas had made eyecatching progress for William Buick and the pair of them set down to battle it out, with Lucky Vega just behind in third.
It came down to a matter of who had their head down right on the line as they flashed by together, with the Irish raider getting the verdict by a short head and a neck.
None of Aidan O’Brien’s trio were ever involved, while Thunder Moon was among the first beaten.
Manning said: “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’s very smart and has done it very well. He travelled well and picked up well.
“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 (line, in front).”