Jim Bolger is an opinionated man, often described as straight talking or as “not afraid of controversy”. As a trainer he has never found favour with Coolmore Inc, which is surprising as they owe him a great deal. Bolger deserves all the credit for moulding their greatest human asset in Aidan O’ Brien and their greatest current commercial asset in Galileo.
Bolger & Galileo/Galileo without Bolger:
Galileo’s fee is listed as private. WIthout the Bolger influence I think it would be around the same level as Peintre Celebre at 25k. That’s a difference of around 150k per mare which should entitle him to a few horses that APOB can’t accommodate.Then again I suppose Magnier has enough on his plate trying to keep Wachman’s yard full…
Bolger’s success with Galileo is remarkable. He is trainer and sometimes owner or breeder of New Approach, Teofilo, Lush Lashes, Galatee, Heliostatic, Prima Luce and Cuis Gaire. He is the breeder of Soldier of Fortune. That is 8 of Galileo’s 20 Group Winners.If you take out the Bolger contingent you lose all his good two year olds and his 2 best middle distance colts making Galileo’s record look like that of a sire of stayers (first 3 in a St Leger, Allegretto, Mahler,Purple Moon). It was Teofilo and New Approach that pushed his fee to private, 2 year olds are what makes him so much more commercial. Its also easy to knock his other Group 1 winners, as Nightime won an Irish Guineas in bottomless ground, Cima de Triomphe’s win in the Italian Derby barely registered with anyone and Red Rocks win in the Breeders Cup was a once off. Bolger saw Galileo as a star (geddit) and backed his judgement accordingly. Why he is so much more successful than any other breeder or trainer of Galileo’s is something that I can’t explain.
Galileo is not the first stallion he has made:- Remember Ahonoora?
Bolger can also take much of the credit for the Ahonoora success story. Back when neither stallion or trainer were that fashionable, he produced Park Appeal to win the Cheveley Park and Moyglare and gave Ahonoora the perfect start. And in a nice tie in with the Galileo story, she was sold onto Sheikh Mohammed just like New Approach and Teofilo. But of course he didn’t stop there and he trained other quality offspring including Park Express, Noora Abu, Topanoora (remember the Hardwicke anyone?) and Project Manager. In another twist Ahonoora ended up at Coolmore but alas died when still only 14. It was fitting that Ahonoora is the broodmare sire of New Approach.
Not Always Right- The Nordico disaster
Alas when people of conviction get it wrong,they often find it hard to admit they were wrong. I think this happened to Jim Bolger with Nordico. Nordico was a son of Northern Dancer from the family of Stephan’s Odyssey. Jim’s yard was full of them for about 4 years. He managed to win races with many of them but none of them were top class. Nordico ended up in Cyprus which seems about right.
Fillies by Mr Greeley
2 fillies Saoirse Abu and Finsceal Beo, 5 Group ones between them and counting. No wonder Jim is keen on them at the sales
Others to Mention
Jim is currently training quite a few by Lil’s Boy a Danzig horse he used to train. Early signs aren’t promising. In the past he also trained a lot by Project Manager (a son of Ahonoora mentioned earlier) and Erin’s Isle a son of Busted who he trained before he was sold to America. Neither were successful but at least Erin’s Isle left him Affianced the dam of Soldier of Fortune and Heliostatic.