Irish 2,000 Guineas: Mac Swiney wins from stablemate Poetic Flare at The Curragh

Rory Cleary on Mac Swiney
Rory Cleary rode Mac Swiney to victory in the Grade One classic at The Curragh
Cazoo Derby Festival
Dates: 4-5 June Venue: Epsom Racecourse Big race times: 16:30 BST
Friday: The Oaks; Saturday: The Derby Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio 5 live

Mac Swiney won the Irish 2,000 Guineas at The Curragh, seeing off the strong challenge of stablemate Poetic Flare.

It was a one-two for Irish trainer Jim Bolger, who had never previously won the Grade One race.

For jockey Rory Cleary it was by far the biggest win of his career.

Poetic Flare was already running in his third Classic of the season, having won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket before finishing only sixth in the French version just six days ago.

Derby hope Mac Swiney, a Group One winner at two, had disappointed on his return to action in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, but was subsequently found to be suffering from a nasal discharge.

The race was run in a heavy rain shower and Cleary set out to make all on Mac Swiney and his rivals dropped away one by one.

Only Poetic Flare put up a challenge and Kevin Manning looked to be travelling marginally better.

However, just when Manning began to ask his mount for everything, Poetic Flare hung across the track slightly, eventually being beaten a short head in the 100th running of the Classic.

Van Gogh stayed on to finish third, with pre-race favourite Lucky Vega fourth.

"I can't believe it. I was quite nervous about having to ride him as he is a special horse to get a ride on," said winning jockey Cleary.

"He stayed so well - it was on the wet side, which helped, and the further we went the better he travelled.

"My horse really stuck his head out for me and it made it easy for me."

Irish 2,000 Guineas result

1 Mac Swiney (R P Cleary) 8-1

2 Poetic Flare 5-1

3 Van Gogh 9-2

4 Lucky Vega 7-2 Fav

11 ran

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