JIM BOLGER seems to have amassed an exceptional crop of juveniles this season and added further to his tally when Tarcisio scooped the two-year-old maiden for colts and geldings over an extended seven furlongs at Limerick on Saturday.
Having disappointed on his debut at Cork, the son of Holy Roman Emperor was easy to back even though the Aidan O’Brien runner Prophesy was an uneasy favourite.
Having tracked the leaders early on Tarcisio came for his race a furlong or so out but he was challenged by Alkazim and Prophesy. This trio drew a few lengths clear of the field and it took all of rider Kevin Manning’s skill to get Tarcisio home by a short head, with Prophesy just a head further back in third place.
A steward’s inquiry was immediately called as the winner ducked sharply to his left right on the line and bumped the runner-up, but it was too late to affect the result. Connections felt that it was probably the flash of a camera that caused the horse to duck; it will be interesting to see where he fits in among the Coolcullen juveniles.
Alkazim, which was a market drifter, was also making his racecourse debut for the David Wachman yard. He is another son of Holy Roman Emperor and a half brother to the 2006 Queen Mary winner Gilded and while he will hardly scale similar heights he looks sure to win his share of races.
Wachman and Bolger again locked horns in the next race which was again for maidens, but this time it was open to three-year-olds and upwards. Bolger supplied the favourite in Vastitas but it was the Wachman runner Compelling that came out on top.
Out of the Entrepreneur mare Damson, which provided Wachman with a Group One success in his first season as a trainer, Compelling had shown glimpses of form as a two-year-old but was only mildly fancied. She tracked Vastitas from almost from the start and after hitting the front two furlongs out battled well to land the spoils by a length and a half from Vastitas.
Wachman has no great plans for the winner, other than waiting to see how the handicapper views the result, but whatever her future on the track she will be a hot property once her racing days are over and she retires to the paddocks. Vastitas seems to be the eternal bridesmaid; she seldom runs a bad race, but after ten or so outings under her belt she would not be winning out of turn.
Bolger had to be content with second place once again in the mile fillies handicap when Stylish One went under by the minimum margin to Marvada. Never too far off the pace, Stylish one looked to have taken a winning lead well inside the final furlong but Marvada came with a wet sail to nail her right on the line.
Top of his game
Veteran handler Kevin Prendergast showed that he is still at the top of his game when he turned out La Collina to take the money in the opening juvenile auction maiden. Well supported, the daughter of Strategic Prince came from well off the pace and still had plenty to do with a furlong to race but finished strongly to lead almost in the shadow of the post and win going away by a length and three parts from Mahaazen.
Prendergast, who won the race a year earlier with Obligada, told me that his charge has plenty of gears. Out of the Galileo mare Starfish, she will improve considerably from this initial outing.
Ruby Walsh was the jockey in form at Wexford on Friday evening, recording a three-timer and finishing second on his fourth mount Luck Pennie. The Broken Hearted gelding Cootamundra provided Walsh with his opening success when he ran out a comfortable winner of the three mile maiden hurdle.
A heavily backed favourite, Cootamundra was dropped out early on but made smooth progress on the final circuit to challenge the leader Sligo going to the last hurdle. It was here that the fun began as Sligo departed the scene but in the process one of his hooves became entangled in the reins of Cootamundra, breaking them.
This left Walsh with no steering but undaunted, he kept his mount going to hit the wire five lengths ahead of Carbon Credit. It was an inspirational piece of riding by Walsh, as the horse was all over the place - not for the first time he showed just why this man is about the best in the business.
Tony Martin supplied the rider with the remaining two legs of the treble. First it was Redera that scored a highly impressive victory in the novice hurdle before half an hour later Somatic recorded a workmanlike success in the two mile and three beginners chase. Arriving late, Somatic showed plenty of resolve to outgun the Edward O’Grady representative Goban Saor after a good scrap.
Galway is a possibility for the winner. Like Wexford it’s a tight circuit, but Somatic handled it well and an extra furlong looks well within his capabilities.