Cuis stakes Classic claim

Jim Bolger sowed the first seeds for another bumper Classic harvest in 2009 as Cuis Ghaire justified weighty market support in Royal Ascot’s Albany Stakes yesterday.

This season’s Derby fell to the irrepressible County Carlow trainer’s New Approach, and Cuis Ghaire has now raced to clear favouritism for next year’s 1000 Guineas – a race Bolger captured with Finsceal Beo in 2007.

Whispers had been circulating for the daughter of Galileo since the previous evening and she had been backed for both the Guineas and this Group Three.

By off-time, she was just 8-11 in a field of 14.

Bolger believes the trip was at the absolute minimum of Cuis Ghaire’s range and at the two-pole a previously confident Kevin Manning had to get to work.

However, he received a quick response and the pair pulled away to record a convincing victory by a length and three-quarters.

“She’s always impressed me in her three races to date because she is not a six-furlong horse really,” said Bolger, who was celebrating a first Royal Ascot victory since 1993 – before Lush Lashes bagged the feature Coronation Stakes later in the afternoon.

“But because she is so precocious, we thought we would pick up a couple of races along the way before we moved on to the serious stuff.

“I knew she would come home well as she already needs seven furlongs or a mile but somebody told me Galileo had never had a winner over six furlongs, so we thought we’d do something about that.

“You won’t see her over six furlongs again though. She’ll probably go for the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh and then the Moyglare.”

Sponsors Stan James quickly slashed her to 5-1 favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas, while Hills and Ladbrokes offer 8s.

Hinting at the furore surrounding New Approach’s eventual participation in the Derby, Bolger added: “I don’t know much about ante-post betting as you know, so I’d leave all that to those who do know, but 8-1 sounds fair enough.

“I have been excited about her since this time last year when I watched her in the paddock. I am sure she will get a mile and a quarter but not certain she’ll get a mile and a half.”

Runner-up Penny’s Gift and third-placed Danidh Dubai both acquitted themselves well and are possibly bound for the Super Sprint and Lowther Stakes respectively.

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