Bolleville bowls over Leopardstown rivals

Impressive start for French recruit to O’Brien yard.

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Bolleville marked her stable debut for Joseph O’Brien with a convincing victory in the TRI Equestrian Silver Stakes at Leopardstown.

The four-year-old filly, already a winner at this same Listed level in her native France, put both her better-fancied stablemate Latrobe and Aidan O’Brien’s favourite Keats well in the shade to win by a length on her first start in Ireland.

Formerly with Jean-Claude Rouget and then Pascal Bary, Bolleville had one previous run this season under her belt, having finished third at ParisLongchamp in May.

She was still only eighth of the 10 runners, and wide, into the straight – but once asked to pick up the leaders by Shane Crosse, she swept to the front.

Runner-up Simsir also came from well off the pace which had been set by eventual third Keats, but could not trouble the 10-1 winner.

O’Brien’s assistant Brendan Powell was delighted with Bolleville’s performance on what amounted to a ‘fact-finding mission’ for her new connections.

“Shane said he was always happy with her,” said Powell.

“She travelled great, and he said she kept quickening all the way to the line. She loved the ground – and it’s a while since she ran, so she can only improve again off it.

“Today was basically a finding-out mission, and she’s done it nicely, so she could be very useful.”

Crosse had originally been due to ride a third O’Brien contender, Raise You, until that horse was taken out following a minor going change.

Powell added: “Shane and Declan (McDonagh) share most of the rides, but Eddy (Greatrex) is a big part of the team, and it’s unfortunate that he’s missed out on this.

“Shane switched on to her after Raise You was taken out, and he’s given her a lovely ride.

“She’s by Camelot, so she’s going to be a valuable broodmare one day. Hopefully she has a good future before that.”

Nicest had earlier indicated she may well go some way to living up to her name when she too arrived from off the pace to run down Talacre by a head for a tenacious debut victory in the opening Decorated Knight Irish EBF Fillies Maiden.

Representing Coolmore and Donnacha O’Brien, the daughter of American Pharoah prevailed at 6-1 to kick-start a quick double for her trainer and jockey Gavin Ryan.

The winning jockey said: “We liked her at home -and whatever she did today we felt that she’d come on for it.

“She’s a big, scopey filly and has a nice turn of foot.

“When I got a slap into her she quickened up well.”

It was a similarly encouraging tale in the following Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C&G) Maiden as O’Brien’s Fernando Vichi justified odds of 8-15 to win in some comfort after wearing down long-time leader and runner-up Sword Zorro.

Going one better after his narrow defeat on debut at Navan this month, Fernando Vichi was always Sword Zorro’s closest pursuer and – in a race dominated by the pair – surged three and a quarter lengths clear at the post, once he got the better of the argument.

The Australia colt has some high-profile entries in the coming months, and Ryan was impressed.

He said: “When I asked him he quickened up well and didn’t half put it to bed.

“He’ll come on plenty from that. He’s a smart horse and has a lovely turn of foot.”

Bolleville bowls over Leopardstown rivals
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