Mac Swiney all systems go for the Derby – and Ascot beckons for Poetic Flare

Jim Bolger is looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season has in store for Mac Swiney and Poetic Flare after the stablemates provided him him with a one-two in Saturday’s Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Having rounded off his juvenile campaign with a Group One success in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, Mac Swiney finished a slightly disappointing fourth on his reappearance in the in Leopardstown’s Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.

However, he raised his game to land Classic glory at the Curragh – coming out on top after a thrilling duel with Poetic Flare, who was running in his third Guineas in the space of four weeks after triumphing at Newmarket and finishing sixth in France last weekend.

Speaking on Racing TV’s Luck on Sunday programme, Bolger said of Mac Swiney: “As they say in the west of Ireland, I was mighty impressed with him.

“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.

“I’m very fortunate that the two talented three-year-olds colts I have at the moment both have great temperaments and they can take anything that I throw at them.

“They’re only different in the amount of work that they take. Mac Swiney takes very little work, whereas the other fella takes an awful lot of work, which is why I felt he would stand up to the three Guineas.”

Rory Cleary celebrates on board Mac Swiney
Rory Cleary celebrates on board Mac Swiney (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mac Swiney will now bid to emulate his sire New Approach by winning the Cazoo Derby at Epsom on June 5, for which he is a general 7-1 shot.

“I’m the world’s worst punter, so asking me what price he should be wouldn’t get a very knowledgeable answer,” Bolger added.

“In my mind there isn’t anything ahead of him – the form is there now.”

The Coolcullen handler feels Poetic Flare could have been a triple Guineas winner in different circumstances.

He came close to completing a similar treble in 2007 with Finsceal Beo, who won at Newmarket, was beaten a head in the French 1000 Guineas and won the Irish equivalent.

Bolger said: “The three Guineas came about the year I had Finsceal Beo. In the end it was a few showers of rain in France that cost us the French Guineas, otherwise we would have had all three.

“We realised this (Poetic Flare) was a very talented horse with a lot of durability about him. He’s tough and he could take it.

“Apart from a few things we got wrong in France and then beating him ourselves with a different horse, we could have had the three, so it is possible.

“With a little different circumstance he could be the winner of three Guineas today and that would be fairly unique.

Poetic Flare after winning the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket
Poetic Flare after winning the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket (John Walton/PA)

“I said earlier in the week that whatever beat Poetic Flare would win the race. It’s not often I’m right, but I was right on that occasion!”

Asked whether Poetic Flare will run in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next, he added: “I’d say there’s a good chance that he will. It depends how he gets on in the meantime, but I’d say he’s more likely to turn up there than not.

“I’d say he’ll stay at a mile. The only thing that might cause us to divert from that would be the Eclipse at Sandown, but then I have to keep that in mind for Mac Swiney as well.”

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