Belfast Telegraph

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Manning at the double

Kevin Manning completed a Curragh double in the colours of owner Jackie Bolger when steering home Leath Na Hoibre (2-1 favourite) for an appropriate victory in the Pat O'Donovan Irish Racing Excellence Nursery Handicap.

The gelding, trained by former Bolger employee Brendan Duke, was also handy from the start and ran out a cosy winner from Flirt.

The race was named after Pat O'Donovan, Bolger's assistant, who won the Irish Racing Excellence Award at the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

Duke said: "Myself and Pat go back a long way and are really good friends so I was under a bit of pressure.

"I texted my mentor (Jim Bolger) his mark on Wednesday and he texted back 'will he win'. I replied 'yes Jim, you're safe'.

"He's a smashing little horse and has run into three high-class two-year-olds. The horse that won the maiden here yesterday (Shogun) was behind him when he was third last time.

"He's not ground dependent and handles anywhere from five to seven. He has loads of pace.

"I won this last year (with Intenser) and I've won three with his half-brother Focussed.

"This means an awful lot to me personally to win this race. Pat thoroughly merited the award and is one of the huge number of people behind the front-line who gets the front-line people to where they are."


From Belfast Telegraph