Poetic Flare wins pulsating 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket with 54-year-old Kevin Manning, oldest jockey to win the showpiece race since Lester Piggott in 1992
- Poetic Flare won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket with jockey Kevin Manning
- Manning, 54, is the oldest jockey to win the race since Lester Piggott in 1992
- Manning called it a ‘great moment’ to secure his fourth British Classic victory
- Trainer Jim Bolger described Poetic Flare as the ‘complete package’ after the race
Trainer Jim Bolger described Poetic Flare as the ‘complete package’ after the shot was shot home from a short head 16-1 into the Qipco 2,000 Guineas on Newmarket.
In a dizzying finish, Poetic Flare, ridden by Bolger’s son-in-law Kevin Manning, has just defeated the Charlie Appleby-trained Master Of The Seas with Lucky Vega a neck further back in third place.
Manning at 54 became the oldest jockey to win the race since Lester Piggott won over Rodrigo de Triano at the age of 56 in 1992.
Poetic Flare won a thrilling 2000 Guineas at Newmarket with jockey Kevin Manning (center)
At 54 years old, Manning (left) is the oldest jockey to win the showpiece since Lester Piggott in 1992
Bolger immediately opened up the possibility of a crack at the French 2,000 Guineas on May 16 and the Irish 2,000 Guineas six days later. The County Carlow trainer has potentially a huge summer ahead of him, with Cazoo Derby contender Mac Swiney also in his stable.
Bolger, who landed his fifth British classic, said: ‘If there ever was a horse to win three Guineas, this is it. Poetic Flare is the most complete racehorse I’ve ever owned. You couldn’t fault him. ‘
Poetic Flare, bred by Bolger and running in the colors of his wife Jackie, made a winning debut with Naas last March.
A combination of Covid-19 quitting the sport and a growth spurt meant the foal wasn’t running again until after being beaten just over eight lengths in October when it wasn’t placed in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
Manning said winning his fourth British classic was ‘great’ and ‘feels the same’ as his first
He won the Killavullan Stakes in Leopardstown later that month before returning to that circuit to win the 2,000 Guineas Trial last month.
Bolger, who won the 2008 Derby with New Approach, added: ‘What happened last year was a blessing in disguise. It grew about an inch and a half between March and August. I’ve never seen a horse grow as fast as he does. It was best to be patient with him. ‘
Mac Swiney is likely to make his season debut at the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial in Leopardstown before heading to Epsom in June, although Bolger said he could fill in for Poetic Flare in the Irish 2,000 if he thought yesterday’s winner needed a break.
Piggott (photo 2017) won the 2,000 Guineas with Rodrigo De Triano in 1992 at the age of 56
Bolger last won the 2,000 Guineas with Dawn Approach, the father of Poetic Flare, in 2013. A man who stands by his own judgment, most of the Bolger string is in the hands of him and his family. It is a business model that requires success. When Mac Swiney won the Group One Vertem Futurity at Doncaster in October, it was Bolger’s first top-level win since 2015.
If there was an Irish winner, most would have thought it was a trained Aidan O’Brien. But the best of his three runners was Van Gogh in eighth place, as Wembley finished 11th and Battleground, the 9-2 favorite, was 13th.
It was the first time that an O’Brien horse had not finished in the top four of the race since 2013.
Behind Battleground in last place was Joseph O’Brien’s well-supported Thunder Moon.