Fourth Dewhurst for Bolger with Parish Hall
1 Parish Hall 20/1
Jim Bolger captured an astonishing fourth Group One Dubai Dewhurst Stakes in six renewals as Parish Hall saw off 15/8 favourite Power to land the seven-furlong contest by half a length at odds of 20/1.
Bolger saddled Teofilo (2006), New Approach (2007) and Intense Focus (2008) to victory and each of those colts, like today’s winner, was bred by the trainer and ridden by his stable jockey and son-in-law Kevin Manning.
Parish Hall, a son of Teofilo, whose Dubai Dewhurst success was the final act of an unbeaten career, is now being aimed at Epsom for the Investec Derby in June, a race that Bolger also took with the brilliant New Approach.
Bolger, whose wife Jackie owns the winner, as she did Teofilo and Intense Focus, said: “He is right there with the previous three. Intense Focus has the record, time-wise, and he’s right there with the others. There’s no doubt he’s in that league, he’s very good.
“I think this fella’s chance of staying a mile and a half is at least as good a chance as New Approach had. He would not be certain to come back for the 2000 Guineas but we will see and have a good think about it but I am definitely looking on him as a Derby horse - at Epsom and then the Curragh. He is very sound horse, so I would be looking at him as an Epsom horse.”
But Bolger almost aimed his charge at the Group Three Autumn Stakes over a mile, later on today’s card.
He revealed: “The plan was short-lived because I had him in the Group Three as well and the Group Three was looking more or less the same as the Group One. The word was that some of the better horses were going for the Group Three today and at that stage we decided to go for the Dewhurst, but that was only on the basis that a mile probably suits him better than seven.”
Parish Hall opened his account at the first attempt at Leopardstown in April before finishing runner-up in the Group Three Tyros Stakes at the same venue in July. A disappointing eighth in the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh preceded another second placing, this time in the Group Two Futurity Stakes on August 22 and he has clearly progressed since that outing.
Bolger added: “This time last year he was still out in the paddock so he has done a lot in 12 months. He has been improving all along but he did run into soft ground a couple of times and he’s not able to handle soft ground. He is very good on top of the ground - the ground is the key to him, he needs good ground or faster.”
POWER FAILURE, BUT MOST IMPROVED ONE TO NOTE
The Irishman had saddled 25/1 shot Crusade to land the previous race, the Emaar Middle Park Stakes, but Power, who started 15/8 favourite, failed by half a length to catch Parish Hall, who was a 20/1 shocker for punters.
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