Many racing fans know how much of a genius Jim Bolger is in the racing sphere, but the Coolcullen trainer waved his magic wand once again as he claimed a 1-2 in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.
Poetic Flare, who had landed the British renewal of the contest three weeks previously, was the Bolger runner expected to claim victory but it was the stable second-string Mac Swiney (tipped up by as Saturday’s each-way bet) who landed success in the first Irish Classic of the season.
Last season’s Futurity Trophy Stakes winner benefitted from a top-level ride from Rory Cleary, as he pushed his mount in front from the off.
The three-year-old dictated the pace and he looked to have caught several of his rivals off-guard when he quickened up with two furlongs remaining.
His stablemate Poetic Flare produced a challenge in the final stages, with an epic battle between the two Bolger horses occurring in the final furlong.
Both had the chance to snatch victory as they traded blows, but it would be Mac Swiney’s day as he made all to win by a short head.
Aidan O’Brien continued his dominance in the Fillies’ Classics on both sides of the Irish sea, as Empress Josephine snatched victory on the line from stable companion Joan Of Arc.
A sister of seven-time Group 1 winner Minding, the three-year-old filly was in midfield when making the turn into the home straight.
Seamie Heffernan asked his mount to challenge in the final two furlongs, as she was several lengths behind the leading pair of Joan Of Arc and No Speak Alexander.
The filly began to make headway on the front-running duo and she produced a frighteningly quick turn of foot late on, reeling in her stablemate on the line to win by a short head.
O’Brien claimed a record-extending tenth victory in the contest and his third consecutive victory in the race at the Curragh.
Empress Josephine’s next target is likely to be Royal Ascot, with her trainer indicating she may go for the Coronation Stakes next month.