Bolger happy to engage in Classic talk after Verbal Dexterity turns on the style
The withdrawal of Gustav Klimt seemed to leave the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (1400m) at the Curragh on Sunday open for almost any one of the seven runners, but even if Aidan O’Brien’s colt had been fit enough to take his chance he would have had to have been at his best to contain Verbal Dexterity.
An impressive maiden scorer over the trip in June, Jim Bolger's budding star was then beaten by Beckford in the Railway Stakes when stepping back to six furlongs.
However, the Vocalised colt showed great grit and a turn of foot to match in the final furlong as he comprehensively gained revenge over Beckford, winning by more than three lengths under Kevin Manning.
Without a win in the race since subsequent 2,000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach stretched his unbeaten record to five in 2012, Bolger had also taken the 2006 and 2007 runnings of the race with top-class colts Teofilo and New Approach.
In Verbal Dexterity, the trainer believes he has the next big thing on his hands, and said: "He is the real deal and he is as good as any of the two-year-olds I have ever trained.
“He’s got a marvellous temperament and got great looks as well – he has everything really and is the complete package.”
Teofilo, New Approach and Dawn Approach remained unbeaten in their juvenile year, all going on to win the Dewhurst, and Bolger was left ruing the decision to run Verbal Dexterity in the Railway, the only blot on the copybook to date for the improving colt.
He said: “We loved him here when he won his maiden the first day and I got it wrong when I went back to six furlongs with him in the Railway Stakes. He needs the seven, even though he has plenty of toe, but seven furlongs or a mile is his real cut.
“He handles any ground. We were fairly optimistic we would turn the tables over Beckford back over this trip.”
Most bookmakers trimmed Verbal Dexterity to around 14-1 (from 25) for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.
The Dewhurst looks to be the next target and Bolger added: “He’s as good as Teofilo and New Approach, for sure.
“I'd have him up there with any one of ours who won the Dewhurst –all five of them! I would think that will be next for him now. There's no need to look beyond a mile yet but we will take it all as it comes.”
For Gordon Elliott, a maiden Group 1 on the level will have to wait. The trainer said: “Beckford ran well and we are very happy with his run.
"I'd say he just got outstayed on that ground and we would probably look at running him back over six furlongs if the ground was like this again, or over seven on better ground. The Middle Park looks like a good option for him now."