Irish-trained Loch Garman scored a last-gasp victory in the Criterium International (Fr-I) Nov. 1 at Saint-Cloud, coming from near the back of the field to catch pacesetter Anna's Pearl in the final strides for a half-length win while making a huge step up in class.
Anna’s Pearl, winless in three career starts, controlled the tempo on the testing turf and appeared set for a breakthrough victory entering the straight as he repelled a challenge from French group III winner Us Law.
Entering off a 2 1/4-length debut win for owner-breeder-trainer Jim Bolger a week ago at Navan, Loch Garman was settled off the early pace along the inside and momentarily appeared to flounder on the testing turf as Kevin Manning angled him to the outside for his rally . But once hitting full stride in the final furlong, he closed ground on Anna’s Pearl and took care of business with a powerful lunge near the finish line.
Loch Garman completed the one-mile (1,600-meter) trip in 1:52.70 on heavy turf and provided Bolger a third top-level victory this season with a 2-year-old. Godolphin Racing’s Dawn Approach delivered him back-to-back group I wins in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) Oct. 13 at Newmarket and the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Ire-I) Sept. 15 at the Curragh.
Anna’s Pearl outfinished Us Law for second by 1 1/4 lengths. Triple Threat, the 6-to-4 favorite finished fourth.
Bolger bred Loch Garman in Ireland out of the winning Giant's Causeway mare Irish Question. The bay colt is from the family of Irish group I winner Eva Luna and is one of two group I-winning juveniles for Darley’s European-based Teofilo, joining last year’s Dewhurst winner Parish Hall. Teofilo himself was a multiple group I-winning 2-year-old for Bolger and Europe’s 2006 champion male in the division.