Did Epsom ever witness such furore after a Derby? New Approach showed just why he was top-rated juvenile colt last season by producing a stellar performance to beat Tartan Bearer and Casual Conquest in last Saturday’s Epsom Derby.

Trainer Jim Bolger however had stated from as early as late April that New Approach wouldn’t contest the Epsom Derby, the Irish equivalent being the Coolcullen maestro’s preferred race for his physically-imposing son of Galileo.

New Approach however only re-entered the Epsom Derby equation just five days before the race and it’s safe to say that Bolger was extensively criticized in the British media in the lead-up to the race. However, the criticism was totally unwarranted. A trainer must act in the best interests of his/her horse and if that means ruling out a race and doing a form of a u-turn, well so be it.

New Approach, whom Bolger acquired for €430,000 at Goffs as a yearling, was sent off the well-backed 5/1 second favourite. He was expertly restrained at the rear of the 16-runner field by Bolger’s son-in-law Kevin Manning. The chesnut took up the running just over a furlong out and he stayed on determinedly to account for Ballymacoll Stud’s homebred Tartan Bearer by a half-length, the pair pulling some four and a half lengths clear of the Dermot Weld-trained favourite Casual Conquest.

Both Sir Michael Stoute’s Tartan Bearer and the giant-sized Casual Conquest could take on New Approach in the Irish Derby. A fascinating race therefore is in store for The Curragh on Sunday June 29th. A teak-tough sort, New Approach would be expected to come out on top again, but Casual Conquest is confidently expected to finish in much closer proximity in just over two weeks time.

Waterford win

Congratulations are also in order for Waterford owner Nicholas Hartery following the facile success of his filly Sinful Pleasure in the Allied Irish Bank Wexford Handicap over an extended mile and a half at Wexford last Friday evening.


The Michael Halford-trained Sinful Pleasure, also a winner at Tramore’s May 31st fixture, stayed on tenaciously to account for Jumbo Rio by three parts of a length with Graignamanagh-born apprentice Shane Foley. It’s likely that the Sinndar-sired Sinful Pleasure will extend her sequence in the near future.

P.S. There is no domestic racing this Thursday.