Bolger bids for back-to-back wins with Auvergnat
Finbarr Slattery Memorial Killarney National Handicap Chase | 3m2f | ATR
This race will be run in the memory of Finbarr Slattery, the former manager of Killarney racecourse who passed away this year at the age of 92. A hugely popular figure, Slattery spent over 10 years at the helm here, and this race has been well-supported in his honour.
Enda Bolger was successful 12 months ago with Cantlow, who had spent the winter competing in cross-country races, and the handler bids to follow a familiar path to success this afternoon with Auvergnat.
The JP McManus-owned chaser bypassed the Punchestown festival, where conditions were a little quick for his liking, and he should appreciate the forecast rain.
McManus is also represented by the Philip Dempsey-trained Whatareudoingtome, who couldn’t have been more impressive when landing a 3m6f handicap chase at Punchestown last month.
What they say
Paul Nolan, trainer of Fine Theatre
He's a horse who won his beginners' chase and he's heavily handicapped now. He's exposed really, and to tell the truth, he needs winter ground. With all that in mind, I'm hoping for a deluge of rain and I'm one of the trainers who won't mind if the predicted showers arrive – the more the better.
Philip Dempsey, trainer of Whatareudoingtome
He came out of his Punchestown win very well and we expect him to run a nice race. He is still a bit unexposed over fences. I hope it doesn't rain for him.
David Fitzgerald, trainer of Stonehall Jack
He was awful unlucky not to win at Roscommon last week - I really think he should have won. Anyway, he's getting into these nice races now off a good weight. He will need to step up but we think he's good enough to run well. If the forecast rain arrives he won't be running as he needs fast ground.
It's his first handicap chase for us as we campaigned him over the cross-country discipline for the winter. The ground was a little too firm for him at Punchestown which is why he didn't run there. His last run was when he was fourth in the cross-country at Cheltenham and obviously that form isn't working out too badly now. He has been very well since and we are looking forward to him.