Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Bolger's confident approach

JimBolger is the man of the moment these days, although Dermot Weld has suddenly surfaced as a leading contender with four winners at Leopardstown last Saturday and another two at Galway.

However, although Weld will have a major chance of lifting the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh tomorrow it looks to me as though Weld may have to take a back seat behind Bolger who runs the favourite for next year's 2000 Guineas in New Approach.

New Approach has won his last three races and was very impressive in lifting the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh in August. This was a race were Henrythenavigator was expected to figure prominently for Aiden O'Brien but finished third behind New Approach and the Jessica Harrington-trained Curtain Call.

New Approach looks like filling the slot which was taken over last year by Teofilo who rampaged through the juvenile races and was also successful in last year's National Stakes when meeting Holy Roman Emperor and going on to take the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

Bolger has decided to run New Approach tomorrow as opposed to other options and that being the case, there must be a lot of confidence behind him.

Weld on the other hand has supplemented Famous Name and is on the trail of a fifth National Stakes now that his team are on a roll.

Weld is bidding for his first win in the race since Refuse To Bend scored in 2002 and afterwards won the 2000 Guineas.

Weld said: "We have some very nice two-year-olds this year and Famous Name is certainly one of them. I like him a lot."

Meanwhile, Rio De La Plata was reported to be in very good form by his trainer Saeed Bin Suroor and tomorrow's race looks set to have a major impact on betting for next year's 2000 Guineas for apart from the unbeaten New Approach, there is also Myboycharlie winner of the Prix Morny.

Bolger could have opted for the Goffs Million yesterday but decided against this.

Rio De La Plata established himself as one of the leading juveniles this season when an impressive winner of the Champagne Stakes at Goodwood. He was also entered for the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster but the connections have taken a more ambitious approach by going to the Curragh.

Today Aiden O'Brien will be looking forward to a big run in the Irish Field St Leger which O'Brien has yet to win.

Scorpion is the horse he has in mind and this winner of the English St Leger two years ago, will certainly go close.

Yeats who is a dual Gold Cup winner at Royal Ascot will be attempting to make it third time lucky in the Irish St Leger.

He finished fourth behind Collier Hill in 2005 and last year was beaten half a length when second to Kastoria.

Scorpion will be bidding to become the first horse to add the all-age Irish St Leger to the English version since Touching Wood completed the double in 1982 the last time the Irish race was run for three-year-olds only.

Dermot Weld who has won the race four times with Vinnie Roe and twice with Vintage Crop, will be hoping for a big run for Bellamy Cay who like Yeats and Scorpion is entered for the Melbourne Cup and won six times in France when trained by Andre Fabre and will be having his first run for Weld.

Bellamy Cay achieved his biggest win when beating Montare by a length and a half in the Prix Maurice De Nieuil over the St Leger trip at Longchamp last year. He was subsequently beaten a short head by Montare in the Group One Prix Royal-Oak.

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