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Bolger looks for English Derby victory with contentious late entry New Approach

Bolger looks for English Derby victory with contentious late entry New Approach

Jim Bolger is braced for a frosty reception when New Approach lines up for Saturday's English Derby. The Irish trainer has already endured a week of hostility.
"It is not my intention to upset anyone," he said Friday at the Epsom Racecourse, south of London.
But how he has.
Bolger initially said New Approach would skip the English classic to focus on Irish classics on home soil only to reverse the decision on Monday _ angering punters who had already bet on other horses.
"I wouldn't be capable of treating anyone with contempt, that never happened," he said. "The only punters who have been in contact with me over the last four or five days are over the moon the horse is coming here.
"I don't think there is anything like the furor the media would have us believe, it certainly isn't causing me any angst anyway."
Bolger was a Derby winner in 1991 with 50-1 shot Jet Ski Lady.
"I've been here many times before and had a little success here and hope to have some more," he said.
But rival trainers are also riled by a potential wait at the starting stalls.
Special dispensation has been granted for Bolger's colt to take last spot when accompanied by a pony for the pre-race parade, after he caused a six-minute delay at the start of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
"If the horse does not parade of his own volition then I cannot make him parade," Bolger said.
New Approach will be jockeyed by Kevin Manning over the 12 furlongs, with the stiffest challenges in the 17-horse field coming from favorites Curtain Call and Casual Conquest, which has only raced twice before.
History could be on Curtain Call's side. Trainer Luca Cumani was a Derby winner in 1988 and 1998, leading punters to back him in 2008 at 4-1.
"I'm not superstitious and I don't think I'd have a better chance if the year ended in one or nine," Cumani said. "He's done very well through the spring and I've been very pleased with the way he's took his work. Saying that, I'm never confident or optimistic either."
Pat Smullen, who has been Ireland's champion flat jockey three times, will be on board Casual Conquest, but fears Manning's charge.
"It's a wide open race and they are all fancied," Smullen said. "But at the end of the day New Approach has got the best form in the race and if he stays, he is going to be very difficult to beat."
Frankie Dettori finally won the race last year with Authorized at his 15th attempt and said the pressure has eased.
The Italian will be on board Godolphin's 20-1 outside shot Rio De La Plata, which was runner-up in the French Guineas.
"I'm more relaxed this year as my colors are now on the wall," he said. "He ran a great race in the French Guineas, he has come out of that well and seems better for the run, so that is a plus."


Updated : 2021-06-23 13:03 GMT+08:00