JIM Bolger enjoyed a quick-fire Royal Ascot double yesterday as Lush Lashes consigned her Oaks run to history and secured a Group One success in the Coronation Stakes.
Cuis Ghaire had already carried the colours of Bolger’s wife Jackie into the winner’s enclosure after the opening event, and the white and purple silks returned again after his Galileo filly successfully dropped back to a mile.
Having finished sixth in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket – a race which has now produced the Coronation winner for the last six years – Lush Lashes went on to victory in the Musidora at York.
Despite that storming run, she failed to handle the Epsom undulations and took fifth place on the Downs.
However, in eagerness to secure a top-drawer prize, Bolger took the brave decision to drop the 5-1 chance back in trip and was rewarded with a classy three-and-a-quarter-length victory.
Bolger’s son-in-law Kevin Manning allowed the Goffs Fillies Million winner to stride on over a furlong out and she was well on top in the final 100 yards to come home clear of Infallible, with fellow Irish raider Carribean Sunset a three-quarter-length third.
Bolger, winning the race for the second time following Flame Of Tara’s 1983 success, said: “I am not cocky enough to say I was expecting this but she had shown enough pace to suggest she would cope with a mile.
“There was not a lot of pace on at one point which caused me some concern at one stage but Kevin seemed to have that covered.
“I’ve been very impressed with her but I didn’t think she could win in that style.
“We knew after Epsom that she was going the right way but obviously I was very tempted to go for the Ribblesdale.
“The only reason we came back to a mile was because it is a Group One. Had the Ribblesdale been a Group One, we would have gone there.
“I was a little concerned about her getting the mile and a half at Epsom but, as it happened, it was more that she didn’t handle the track there.
“Next time it will probably be a mile and a half and she will go for the Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
“That race is all I am thinking of at the moment and we’ll see after that.
“I am accepting all of this very gratefully and I am well-equipped enough to handle this type of success if I get it.”
Cashmans quote Lush Lashes at 6-4 for the Darley Irish Oaks.
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