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Poetic Flare wins at Leopardstown today.
Poetic Flare wins at Leopardstown today.
Image: PA

Poetic Flare lights up Leopardstown while Irish challenger Njord also wins

Quick reappearance after Dewhurst run proves winning move for Bolger-trained Classic prospect.
Oct 17th 2020, 5:54 PM 3,455 0

POETIC FLARE OPENED his Pattern-race account in comfortable fashion in the Group Three Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown, just a week after contesting the Dewhurst Stakes.

The Jim Bolger-trained colt showed no ill effects from his journey to Newmarket, where he finished down the field on his first start since he made a winning debut at Naas in March.

Poetic Flare (3-1) was always prominent before Kevin Manning kicked for home over two furlongs out and he strode away to score by two and a half lengths from Zaffy’s Pride.

Manning said: “He ran well in the Dewhurst and was only beaten eight lengths. He would have come on plenty from the run and it was a good training performance to turn around a week later.

“He stays well, but he has plenty of pace. I felt if I could get a length or two off the bend it might be just good enough. He has a lovely attitude and is a nice horse going forward.”

Manning’s wife, Una, daughter of the trainer, said: “He’s been growing all year, so that’s why he hadn’t run until the Dewhurst.

“It’s a Group One and we had to give it a try and we were happy with his run. He took all the travelling very well.

“He’ll be aimed at the Guineas.”

Surrounding landed a belated first success of the year in the Listed Knockaire Stakes.

Michael Halford’s seven-year-old had been highly-tried at Meydan during the winter and also back home when she returned to action in July following a break.

Always travelling kindly for Ronan Whelan, Surrounding (5-1) led a furlong out and held Laughifuwant by half a length.

“She’s a wonderful mare and she loves it around here. I was a bit concerned about the ground, but she’s getting older and probably able to handle it. She has been such a great servant to us,” said Halford.

“When she gets to the front she thinks she’s won. She parked up a bit when she got to the front, but she travelled super.”

Surrounding will now attempt to win the Listed Cooley Stakes at Dundalk for the third year running.

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“We’ll head back to Dundalk for the Cooley with her now. It’s amazing the enthusiasm she still has for it and seven furlongs or a mile is good for her,” said Halford.

Elsewhere, Tom Marquand completed a Qipco British Champions Day double at Ascot with victory on Irish challenger Njord in the Balmoral Handicap.

Having taken the Champion Stakes through Addeybb, Marquand struck on Jessica Harrington’s runner to emulate his partner Hollie Doyle who also enjoyed a big-race double.

Fittingly, it was Doyle who was Marquand’s closest pursuer as she chased Njord (15-2) home on Solid Stone.


Raeeq, the 11-4 favourite, made the running on the far side with Solid Stone close up. Marquand bided his time and came with a telling run in the final furlong to run out a cosy winner. Greenside was third and Graignes fourth.

Marquand said: “Success makes everything feel a bit easier and I guess, as many sportspeople will tell you, confidence is the key to having more success. I guess that’s probably a prime example of it.

“Jessica sent him over and he is in good form. He has run a few big races and both she and Shane Foley said that he would absolutely love the ground. I actually took a pull on him at the two-pole because I thought I was going to get there too soon.

“Fortunately, with races like that, luck was on our side. We were drawn over on the right side with the favourites and it fell absolutely perfect for him.

“Jessica booked me for her lighter horse in the race and he ended up not running and I ended up landing on this lad. She has sent over good few runners this year and I have been really lucky to be sat on them.

“I have to thank her for the opportunities because we have had a little bit of success without striking. She is an incredible trainer – she has sent over a Champions Day winner, so well done to her and the team.”

He added: “I booked a table last night up the road, so we will go for a bit of dinner and probably sit there smiling for a couple of hours!”

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