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Down Royal winner's Irish Derby boost for Bolger


High Velocity: jockey Kevin Manning guides Change of Velocity to Ulster Derby victory
High Velocity: jockey Kevin Manning guides Change of Velocity to Ulster Derby victory

By Ron McKnight

Down Royal manager, Mike Todd declared the Ulster Derby headlined summer festival a resounding success at the conclusion of the two days racing at the Lisburn venue.

The elated supremo of the Maze course said: "I'm delighted for our lead sponsor, Magners. And I'm thrilled for trainer Jim Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning, perennial supporters of the track during the flat season.

"Saturday was their seventh Ulster Derby victory overall and third in successive years.

"Racegoers enjoyed an amazing, sunsplashed social event. My thanks to all concerned for making it happen.

"I'm very lucky to have such a talented and dedicated team working with me. The course's future is very bright - like the current weather."

Punters were treated to both jump and flat racing. Change Of Velocity was the undoubted star of Saturday when completing a hat trick in the past three years for Jim Bolger at 7/2 and it will be interesting to see the master trainer's plans for the horse which holds an entry in next week's £1.5 million Irish Derby.

Bolger won the Ulster Derby in 2016 with Stellar Mass, also owned by Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Dubai operation, and the following weekend finished third in the Irish Derby behind Harzand.

Dermot Weld's Sheberghan finished second in the £100,000 flat feature. And the army of cross channel visitors were delighted when the British trained Midnight Wilde claimed third in the £100,000 flat feature.

Monarch was masterful in winning the jumps feature on Friday evening and the JP Mc Manus owned horse must surely figure amongst his Galway Festival team while the locally owned, Dixie Lee is another which can add to her tally prior to retiring to the breeding sheds in the future.

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