Jim Bolger sweet on Moonlight Magic for Epsom Derby

Jim Bolger is convinced Derby aspirant Moonlight Magic is the real deal.

The Godolphin-owned colt impressed in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown, with his trainer adamant Epsom could be made to measure.

Bolger, who won the race in 2008 with New Approach, said: “I rate him as a good Derby prospect and I would not swap him for anything else in the race.

“He has the looks, the demeanour, the balance and temperament to go with his pedigree.

“He is a beautifully-balanced horse so he should handle Epsom well.

“I thought when he won the Derrinstown he was as good a Derrinstown winner as (the Bolger-trained) St Jovite (1992).

“I could not be any happier than I am with him at the moment.

“He is very straightforward and is a lovely horse to work with.

“There are no holes in this fellow.”

Bolger was speaking as part of Epsom racecourse’s ‘Breakfast With The Stars’ morning on the Downs yesterday.

Meanwhile Found could still run in the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup at Epsom on Friday week.

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup heroine has already had three races in 2016, the latest coming on Sunday when she was second to Fascinating Rock in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien had indicated Found was unlikely to run at Epsom, but after having assessed the condition of the horse yesterday morning, the Ballydoyle chief is now warming to the idea.

Coolmore UK representative Kevin Buckley said: “There is now a possibility that she could turn up for the Coronation Cup.

“Aidan rang me after Breakfast With The Stars and said she’d pulled up really well after the weekend and that he was reconsidering his decision to let her participate at Epsom, subject to the owners’ approval.”

O’Brien’s two other entries, Bondi Beach and Highland Reel, are unlikely runners.

“Bondi Beach has run recently and we will probably wait until mid-June with him. Highland Reel has run twice this year and has got a lot of air miles already and will probably not be totally ready to run in 10 days’ time,” said Buckley.

Postponed is as short as 4-6 favourite in the ante-post market to pick up a third Group One triumph and he had a spin round Epsom during the traditional ‘Breakfast With The Stars’ event.

The five-year-old colt delighted his trainer Roger Varian with the way he handled the switchback track.

“You would have seen by his work he didn’t do anything crazy this morning, it was a sensible work-out but it gave him a feel of the contours of the track,” said Varian.

“He is a very good work horse. He carries a lot of condition and would go through the motions at home very well, but you have got to work him hard to give him a work-out. I love just bringing him for a day out.

“His demeanour back in the stables after he worked he grew an inch and he got his blood pumping.”

A Shin Hikari tears up rock-solid field

Japanese sensation A Shin Hikari tore apart a rock-solid field on his European debut to win the Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly yesterday.

The Masanori Sakaguchi-trained five-year-old simply laughed at his rivals, many of whom possessed Group One-winning form, in the hands of Yutaka Take.

Vadamos made most of the running, with A Shin Hikari never far too away in second.

But once Take and his partner quickened inside the final two furlongs there was only ever going to be one winner.

Dariyan, winner of the Prix Ganay on his last start, at least made an honourable fist of it, but he was absolutely bossed by A Shin Hikari, who won by 10 lengths without his jockey ever getting serious.

Ganay runner-up Silverwave finished third, a fraction ahead of Vadamos.


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