Poetic Flare to skip Paris as Bolger’s focus turns to ‘race of season’ at Leopardstown

Trainer believes horse has stamina to go the distance in €1m Irish Champion Stakes

The upcoming Irish Champions Weekend has got a further boost with Poetic Flare being pointed towards a potential "race of the season" at Leopardstown.

The Guineas and Royal Ascot winner skips this Sunday's Prix De Moulin in Paris and will instead try to stretch his stamina to 10 furlongs in the €1 million Irish Champion Stakes.

Both Aidan O’Brien’s St Mark’s Basilica and Dermot Weld’s Breeders Cup heroine Tarnawa have already been aimed at the most valuable contest of Irish flat racing’s showpiece event (September 11th-12th).

With up to 4,000 spectators allowed at both Leopardstown and the Curragh under an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the scene could be set for a rare sporting as well as social event.


"I won't be confident [about stamina] until after Saturday week but I'm reasonably sure by the way he was coming home in his mile races off a very fast pace that he will stay the extra two furlongs," Poetic Flare's trainer Jim Bolger reported on Friday.

Poetic Flare has been made a 7-2 shot by some firms behind the 7-4 joint-favourites, Tarnawa and St Mark’s Basilica.

Bolger’s decision leaves Irish hopes in the Moulin resting on the Ballydoyle pair Order Of Australia (Ryan Moore) and Lope Y Fernandez (Ioritz Mendizabal.)


Bookmakers reckon both will have their work cut out though against the unbeaten English star Baaeed in a €450,000 contest due off at 2.48pm Irish time.

Baaeed is as short as 4-9 to successfully graduate to Group One level, with his compatriot Snow Lantern next best.

In other news, it has been confirmed that Frankie Dettori will ride in a special race at Bellewstown on September 30th.

The race run in memory of the late Barney Curley, and in aid of the Direct Aid for Africa charity, will see Dettori joined by Jamie Spencer and Tom Queally as well as top local riders.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column