Trainer Jim Bolger now turns his attention to securing elusive Irish 2,000 Guineas

Johnny Murtagh bids for glory with two colts, Fort Knox and the sopplemented Ask Dad

Jim Bolger: keen to fill in a 2,000 Guineas Classic blank on his CV

Jim Bolger: keen to fill in a 2,000 Guineas Classic blank on his CV


Jim Bolger has already got the Newmarket Guineas safely under his belt with Dawn Approach and the former champion trainer has an opportunity to close some unfinished business with the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas on Saturday.

The Curragh Classic has proved frustratingly elusive to Bolger over the years but with an enviably strong hand of three-year-olds in his possession, he has five horses among the 19 entries left in after yesterday’s forfeit stage.

The list also includes two colts from the yard of Ireland’s newest trainer, Johnny Murtagh, after Ask Dad was supplemented into the race yesterday as a cost of €30,000 to owner Andrew Tinkler.

He joins Sheikh Mohammed’s recent purchase Fort Knox as Murtagh, three-times an Irish Guineas-winning jockey, attempts to secure a perfect start to his training career.

Murtagh’s trio of winners are part of Aidan O’Brien’s eight-strong haul of Irish Guineas wins to date and the champion trainer has eight entries this time, including the two Epsom Derby hopefuls, Magician and Mars, as well as the Newmarket Guineas also-rans, Cristiforo Colombo and George Vancouver.

O’Brien is the only Irish trainer to land the Irish Guineas in the last 25 years while veteran British trainer Richard Hannon has won it three times and has three entries for the weekend – Olympic Glory, Van Der Neer and Havana Gold.

Some bookmakers reckon Cristiforo Colombo and Olympic Glory will fight for favouritism at the weekend, but both Loch Garman and Trading Leather have been installed as 8/1 shots to secure that elusive Irish Guineas for Bolger.

Loch Garman returned to action with a second to Battle Of Marengo in the Derrinstown over 10 furlongs earlier in the month and his trainer reports him in good shape.

“Loch Garman has come out of the Leopardstown race very well and the plan for him now is Saturday,” said Bolger.