herald

Tuesday 19 September 2017

'Darena holds Bolger hopes

Jim Bolger is hoping Akdarena can make up for the disappointment of Gile Na Greine's absence in Friday's Investec Oaks at Epsom.

Bolger's Oaks hand was weakened when Gile Na Greine essentially ruled herself out of contention with a no-show in the Irish 1000 Guineas. The master of Coolcullen will now only be represented by Akdarena, who was impressive earlier this month in Group Three company at Naas.

Bolger said: "We are just going to have the one runner this year in Akdarena.

"Things didn't work out for Gile Na Greine in the Irish Guineas and we'll have to have a think where we go with her. I hope Akdarena will stay and she certainly wasn't stopping at Naas.

"Kevin (Manning) set the pace that night and the further she went the better she seemed to go, so I am fairly confident she will stay well."



Jamie gutted Geordie's out

Geordieland will be primed for a campaign later in the year after being ruled out of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

The popular nine-year-old has competed in the premier staying event for the last three years, twice finishing second to Yeats in 2007 and 2008.

Time has been called on his participation this June, however, as Jamie Osborne's grey has suffered a series of hold-ups.

He is now being geared towards a return at either Glorious Goodwood in late July or the Ebor meeting at York in August.

"If there was ever a year I wanted to get him there, this was it," reflected Osborne.

"The Gold Cup picture looks a bit murky this season so it's gutting he won't be there.

"He picked up a little injury last year which curtailed his preparations in the winter.

"He then developed a couple of hold-ups -- nothing too serious -- and as this horse needs a lot of work, it would be too much of a rush to get him ready for Ascot.

"He's now almost certain to run in either the Goodwood Cup or the Lonsdale at York. Whether he goes for the Irish Leger after that, who knows?"



Bell's sweet on Sariska Cup bid

Sariska's preparations have gone swimmingly ahead of next Friday's Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Michael Bell's mighty filly put in a sterling piece of work last week towards her quest to land a third Group One success.

Bell reported: "She is in fantastic form and looks a picture -- she is moving very well. She did an impressive piece of work last week and I am very sweet on her."

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