Bolger’s faith in Mass rewarded at Leopardstown
The progressive Stellar Mass came home best of all to bag the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown at 7-2.
Last year’s St Leger runner-up Bondi Beach was sent off the 5-4 favourite despite having to give at least 6lb to his five rivals, and while he ultimately had to settle for third, he was far from disgraced in conceding a stone to the winner on his first start since May.
While Seamie Heffernan and Bondi Beach came with their run between horses, the three-year-old Stellar Mass swooped down the outside under Kevin Manning and got the better of a battle with the promising Almela (7-1) to take Group Three honours by half a length.
It was another length-and-a-half back to the market leader.
Winning trainer Jim Bolger said: “He is on an upward curve.
“He is entered at York (Great Voltigeur), but it is more likely that he will go to Longchamp for the Prix Niel, provided the ground is nice.”
Lancaster Bomber opened his account at the second time of asking when edging out True Valour in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Leopardstown.
Following a sustained battle inside the final furlong, the pair passed the post together but it was 10-3 shot Lancaster Bomber who got the verdict by a short-head as he registered an all-the-way success under Donnacha O’Brien.
Things were much more straightforward for 5-4 favourite Laoch Na Mi in the Bulmer’s Live At Leopardstown Maiden.
Always well placed in the hands of Kevin Manning, the son of Teofilo stretched into the lead as they turned for home and only had to be kept up to his work to see off Tree of Knowledge (7-2) by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
Champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins made another successful Flat raid in the Godolphin Student Initiative Handicap as Laws Of Spin finished best of all under Shane Foley to beat Romanesque (3-1JF) by a length-and-a-half at 13-2.
The recent Ballinrobe victor still had plenty to do when turning for home but he picked up really well on meeting the rising ground and was well on top at the finish.
There was a terrific finish to opening Racecourse Of The Year Handicap as 13-2 chance Victorious Secret got the better of Intense Stylist (6-1) by a head.
Jim Bolger went on to record a four-timer as 13-2 favourite Mcguigan and 5-1 chance Lightning Bullet ran out convincing winners of the last two races on the card.