History repeated itself a number of times at Newmarket on Saturday when Jim Bolger and his son in law Kevin Manning combined to win their fourth Group1 Dewhurst Stakes in the last six years. Their winner Parish Hall (IRE) is a son of Teofilo, the champion unbeaten 2yo that began Bolger and Manning’s love affair with this race back in 2006 and who now stands in Kildangan Stud. Sent off a 20/1 chance, Parish Hall was driven into the lead a furlong from home and stayed on resolutely to beat fellow Irish trained Power by half a length. Manning was impressed with Bolger’s homebred commenting; “They went a nice even gallop, not overly fast, and he picked up out of the dip. I think seven furlongs is the minimum for him – that’s why I rode him like that.”
Parish Hall was given an opening show of 16-1 for next season's Qipco 2,000 Guineas after his success but Bolger appeared to be leaning more towards the Investec Derby at Epsom in June as his Classic target for next year. Having reflected on winning the race with Teofilo, New Approach, Intense Focus and now Parish Hall, Bolger commented; “It’s a very nice achievement. He’s done a lot in 12 months, but has been running on soft ground and he can’t handle that. He’s very good on top of the ground. He’s is a very solid horse so I’d look on him as an Epsom horse.” Each of Bolgers previous winners earned themselves a place at stud. Teofilo has sired a Group 1 winner in his first crop and New Approach’s yearlings have been very well received at the sales. Parish Hall would seem to have every chance of earning his place at stud especially as he would seem to have a lot of scope for improvement when he tackles middle distance next season.
Irish trainers have enjoyed great success in the UK this season and the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes was also exported to Ireland when Crusade won for the Ballydoyle team. The winner challenged up the centre of the course and he dug deep under Seamie Heffernan to beat Lilbourne Lad and the other Ballydoyle runner Reply. Aidan O’Brien was winning the race for the fourth time and Crusade could follow in the footsteps of one of the trainers previous winners Johannesburg by tackling the Breeders Cup Juvenile Dirt next month.