Poetic Flare edged out Godolphin’s Master Of The Seas in a thriller to clinch the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
The Jim Bolger-trained Dawn Approach colt, under veteran jockey Kevin Manning, had his head in front after a ding-dong battle to the line to deny William Buick the first English classic prize of the season.
Jessica Harrington’s Lucky Vega was a further neck down in third and Godolphin’s Naval Crown, who led most of the way, stayed on to take fourth spot.
The success also provided the Irish pair Manning, 54, and Bolger, 79, with a second 2000 Guineas success, following Poetic Flare's sire Dawn Approach's victory in the race in 2013.
“It's a great training performance, he's done nothing wrong all along this horse and was impressive in the Guineas trial at Leopardstown,” Manning said.
“I knew he'd come forward from then and I made no secret that I fancied him. He's just a proper horse, I really thought that he would win today. The plan was always to have this guy come here and thankfully it's worked out.”
Dawn Approach made an unsuccessful bid in the Derby after his success in the 2000 Guineas, and Manning is not certain that Poetic Flare could follow in his footsteps.
“I'm not sure, he was a little bit keen with me today for the first furlong or two,” Manning said when asked if Poetic Flare would stay the one and-a-half mile Derby trip.
“I'll sit down with Jim and have a chat but I can't see why he won't stay a mile and a quarter.”
Buick held Master Of The Seas in the rear before making steady headway from the halfway mark. He briefly led over a furlong out but the Charlie Appleby-trained runner just failed at the line.
Appleby and Buick completed a double earlier with Creative Force taking the opener, a Class 2 handicap, and Lazuli landing the Group 3 Palace House Stakes.
Lazuli, who broke the course record over the same five-furlong distance in the Group 3 World Trophy at Newbury in September, raced in third before quickened a furlong out to win from Came From The Dark by a neck.
“Lazuli came into this race fresh and well,” Appleby said of the four-year-old son of Dubai.
“We were due to run him again in Dubai but he unfortunately had a stone bruise on the eve of the race, so we were forced to miss that engagement.
“It took him a while to come right but we maintained his training again just before he flew back to the UK. He had a penalty today and I felt it was a good performance. William feels that Lazuli is likely to come forward for the race in terms of fitness.
“I haven’t really thought beyond today’s race. He is probably a Group 2 horse and, if he got the rub of the green, he might just pull something out in Group 1 company. He is a handy little horse to have around.”