Kevin Manning, right, keeps Parish Hall up to his work at the Curragh
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Jim Bolger was relieved to see Parish Hall make a winning return to action in the Listed Irish Open Alleged Stakes at the Curragh this afternoon.
The Teofilo colt was having his first outing since claiming the Dewhurst in October 2011.
Kevin Manning settled the 11/8 favourite behind the leaders before asking him to challenge between horses with over a furlong to run.
He wandered around under pressure a bit inside the final furlong but got to the front for a length-and-a-half victory over the front-running Inis Meain.
“I've always had confidence in the horse but was a bit concerned about the ground and the fact that he had been off so long,” said Bolger.
“He'll improve no end from that and it's onwards and upwards. We'll come back here for the Moresbridge (May 6th) and then the Tattersalls Gold Cup (May 26th). Then we'll have to travel.
“I'd say we'll be going up to a mile-and-a-half with him during the season.
“We nearly lost him last year as he had a very bad infection in his near hind joint. It took a while to respond to the antibiotics. It then burst out and damaged his tendon behind.
“It's all repaired well now but it was touch and go and we never found the source of the infection.
“He'll come on a lot as he's very idle at home and that's the first time he's seen a racecourse since October 2011.”
Bolger also had news of Dawn Approach quipping: “He's very well and is still awesome!”