2000 Guineas winner Poetic Flare led home a 1 2 3 for Ireland in the St James’ Palace Stakes, the feature Group 1 on the opening day of Royal Ascot.
Trained by Kilkenny-based Jim Bolger and in the colours of his wife Jackie, he made it three wins from five starts this season with an impressive win over Lucky Vega and Battleground.
Bolger’s son-in-law Kevin Manning was on board and he says the horse was in top form.
“He’s probably better today than he has been all year, he travelled very very smooth and arrived there down to the two-pole and I couldn’t believe how easy I was travelling on him and when I asked him to quicken he’s just gone and put it to bed in a few strides,” said Kevin.
“Jim was very happy to come here with him and he told me that he’s never had a horse to leave the yard in as good a shape and I sat up on him the other morning as well and I thought he was in as good a shape as he has been all year”.
“With that sort of confidence behind me, I had no worries”.
There are just seven horses in the field for the Prince of Wales Stakes – the feature on day two of Royal Ascot.
The Aidan O’Brien trained Love will go into the race as the favourite, with the Frankie Dettori and Seamie Heffernan mounts of Lord North and Armory providing competition.
Action at Ascot is underway this afternoon at 2.30 pm, with the big race off at 4.20 pm.