Jim Bolger confident Mac Swiney can follow up in Epsom Derby

It is nearly 50 years since the Irish 2,000 Guineas - Derby double has been landed

Rory Cleary celebrates Mac Swiney’s 2,000 Irish Guineas win. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Rory Cleary celebrates Mac Swiney’s 2,000 Irish Guineas win. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

 

Mac Swiney is a 7-1 third favourite behind the Aidan O’Brien pair Bolshoi Ballet and High Definition for Saturday week’s Epsom Derby although his trainer Jim Bolger might be prepared to argue that status.

The son of New Approach supplied Bolger with a memorable first Irish 2,000 Guineas victory on Saturday when edging out his stable companion Poetic Flare under jockey Rory Cleary.

It’s almost half a century since an Irish 2,000 Guineas winner managed to double up in the Epsom Derby two weeks later but Bolger was in confident form of reversing that trend on Sunday.

“I’m the world’s worst punter so asking me what price he should be wouldn’t get a very knowledgeable answer,” he reported before nevertheless adding: “In my mind there isn’t anything ahead of him. The form is there now.”

Grundy in 1975 was the last to pull off a Curragh Guineas-Epsom Derby double also achieved by Santa Claus in 1964.

However the two week gap proved no barrier to Mac Swiney’s sire New Approach going one better than his Irish Guineas second with a memorable Derby success for Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning in 2008.

His son, named after the former Lord Mayor of Cork Terence Mac Swiney, proved his battling qualities on Saturday’s very testing conditions.

“I thought that he stuck to the task really well. Any horse wishing to take him on and beat him in the future will have to be up for it because he isn’t going to give in easily,” Bolger added.

Bolshoi Ballet, who had Mac Swiney almost seven lengths behind him when impressively landing the Derrinstown Trial earlier this month, is a general 2-1 favourite for Epsom.

His stable companion High Definition is next best in a market dominated by Irish trained horses.

Four of the last five Derby winners have been trained in Ireland with Masar in 2018 the only cross-channel based horse to break the streak.

O’Brien is chasing a record-extending ninth Derby triumph.

In other news Rachael Blackmore’s didn’t enjoy a fairytale first ride around Auteuil on Sunday as the Irish jockey finished last of the seven runners in French racing’s equivalent of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Blackmore’s mount Ajas travelled strongly for much of the €820,000 Grande Steeple-Chase de Paris but quickly faded from half a mile out.

The race was won for the second year running by Docteur De Ballon who proved over five lengths too good for the 2019 winner, Carriacou.

Docteur De Ballon is trained by Louisa Carberry, wife of the former Champion Hurdle winning jockey, Philip Carberry.

“What an amazing horse. The horse is just everything to us. Philip had done a huge amount of work with him. Bertrand (Lestrade) just rides him perfectly,” Carberry reported.

“I just wanted him to come home safe this year. I didn’t want to put any pressure on him. To do that is just exceptional. I’m just lucky to have him.”

“Philip has been associated with Princess D’Anjou and won it twice (in 2006 and 2008), now him. It makes you want to cry. It’s just amazing,” she added.

Blackmore aims to be back in action from Paris at Ballinrobe on Monday evening but the Co Mayo track will have to pass a 7.30 morning inspection.

Parts of the course were waterlogged and unfit for racing on Sunday and up to 10mms more rain is forecast to fall before racing begins.

Blackmore is on No Memory in the featured mares handicap hurdle although Willie Mullins’s Klassy Kay may be an option for punters in testing conditions.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.