Bolger team hopeful Moyglare runner-up Lucida can take Rockfel Stakes

Layers make Godolphin-owned filly warm favourite to land Group Two renewal

Jim Bolger: “Lucida is very well and we are expecting her to perform.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jim Bolger: “Lucida is very well and we are expecting her to perform.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

It has been a comparatively low-key September for the Jim Bolger team but hopes are high that Lucida can secure a valuable Group Two success in today’s Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

Jockey Kevin Manning is also due in action at this evening’s Dundalk fixture but the focus will be on Moyglare runner-up Lucida’s attempt to successfully step up in a race which Bolger and Manning won in 2006 with their subsequent dual-classic heroine, Finsceal Beo.

That was one of three Irish trained Rockfel victories in the last eight years and Bolger, who hasn’t had a winner since the start of the month,

said: “Lucida is very well and we are expecting her to perform.”

Bookmakers make the Godolphin-owned filly a warm favourite, a status that even Hugo Palmer, trainer of second-favourite New Providence, isn’t arguing with.

“You never want to be frightened of one horse and we’re not. But Jim Bolger’s filly had the look of a filly that was unlucky not to win a Group One,” said Palmer. “That said, she . . . had a hard race in a Group One.”

The Rockfel is off at 2.40 but Manning is scheduled to ride in Dundalk’s opener three hours later. The best chance of a domestic Bolger winner though could come in the apprentice handicap with the Fairyhouse winner Teochrios who found only Annagh Haven too good at Gowran last time.

Cocoon has top weight in tonight’s Nursery but a bigger problem for the Ballydoyle filly could be a wide draw. In contrast Private Party is on the inside and trainer Jessica Harrington should know where she stands with Cocoon since the latter dead-heated with her Ernest Shackleton at Listowel. A step up from five furlongs last time could also make Private Party one to watch.

Aidan O’Brien gives a trio of horses a spin in the last, including last year’s Irish Derby third Festive Cheer who got beaten eighty five lengths on his previous start in Galway.

Afonso De Sousa is Joseph O’Brien’s pick and the course and distance could be the solution to a trappy contest.

Conditions look set to be quick for this afternoon’s jumps action at Downpatrick and that should suit the locally trained Obispo.

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