Poetic Flare produced a performance of supreme brilliance to leave his rivals toiling in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot
Jim Bolger’s charge had won the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier in the season, run respectably in the French equivalent on soft ground and then been touched off by stablemate Mac Swiney in the Irish version.
As he had already won a Guineas trial before Newmarket he was having his fifth run of the season – and had obviously thrived for it.
Kevin Manning had the son of Dawn Approach in the box seat throughout and in truth the result never looked in any doubt as soon as he moved his partner into a challenging position.
The veteran rider waited until a furlong and a half out before pushing the button and the response was immediate. The 7-2 favourite shot clear and crossed the line four and a quarter lengths clear of Lucky Vega. Battleground ran on for third, with Maximal fourth.
Quotes for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood were quick to arrive and Betfair went 7-2 from 10-1.
Bolger told Sky Sports Racing from his County Carlow base: “I’m very relaxed about it. I have tremendous confidence in this horse and I was expecting him to go and do that. Thanks to all my staff and everybody who has helped.
“We always knew he was hardy from the word go, even when he was being broken in you couldn’t keep him quiet.
“We’ve bred from the family since the very early 1980s, so a long time.
“When you have a horse winning the St James’s Palace like that you don’t really think about all the relatives and the breeding, you wouldn’t care if he came to you off the back of a truck as long as you had him.
“This horse is so hardy he’s unbelievable, you have to give it to him to keep his back down.”
On plans, he added: “Kevin will be itching to have a crack at the older horses.”
Manning said: “He was probably better today than he has been all year.
“He travelled very well – I arrived there at the two-pole and couldn’t believe how well I was travelling and when I asked him he put it to bed very quickly.
“I wasn’t worried that he’d been busy, Jim was very happy with him and said he’d never had a horse leave the yard in the shape he was in and I thought that as well. With that sort of confidence behind me, I had no worries.
“I had a lovely position, everything went very smooth and when I switched him out he put the race to bed in a few strides.
“He’s very good, very smart. He handles every ground, but he’s obviously much pacier on this ground.
“It means everything to the guys at home in the yard to have a horse like this. I just turn up on the day and ride them.”
“To get this horse here after the runs he’s had is unbelievable.
“I owe Jim everything, and I’d also like to say ‘well done’ to all the lads in the yard who have kept this lad on the go.”
Lucky Vega once again found Poetic Flare too strong, just like at Newmarket and the Curragh, and he will now head to stud in Australia.
His trainer Jessica Harrington said: “He certainly proved he stayed every yard of the mile against a horse that has beaten him three times now.
“I think there will be an announcement in Australia and I will be very sad to lose him because in my opinion he would certainly have won a Group One if he’d remained here.”