The 2021 British Champions Series got off to a thrilling start on Saturday as Poetic Flare broke Godolphin hearts in the final stages to claim the first Classic of the season for Kevin Manning and Jim Bolger. Sired by 2013 QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach, also trained by Bolger, Poetic Flare emulated his father – but was made to fight all the way by a gallant Master Of The Seas and William Buick.

It meant the QIPCO 2000 Guineas will head back to Ireland, but not to a stable with a trainer named “O’Brien” as many had predicted in the build up. Instead, 79-year-old trainer, owner (via his wife), and breeder Jim Bolger’s colt took the prize in a compelling finish which saw Master Of The Seas, Poetic Flare and Luky Vega drawing clear to fight out the closing stages.

It was Master Of The Seas who looked the most likely winner in the final half furlong, however Poetic Flare dug in and got his head down right when it mattered. The photo finish went the way of a delighted Kevin Manning, also Bolger’s son-in-law.

For Jim Bolger it means that he picks up the coveted prize for a second time in his training career, having previously won the race in 2013 with Dawn Approach.

“He’s the most complete racehorse I’ve ever had,” Bolger told “He’s the complete package — you couldn’t find a fault with him. If he was sent to a new trainer in the morning he’d just pick it up from there.”



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