Approach aims for the Guineas

Three things were confirmed following the win of Dawn Approach in the Dewhurst Stakes on Saturday. First, Simon Crisford, racing manager for owners Godolphin, confirmed that Dawn Approach would follow in the footsteps of his sire New Approach, and stay in Ireland to be trained by Jim Bolger again next season.

He said, “It was Sheikh Mohammed's decision. The colt won't run again this year. He'll go back to Ireland, he'll come back for next year's 2,000 Guineas and we'll take it from there. He could be aimed at the major 10-furlong races in the summer."

Secondly, Bolger restated his view that Dawn Approach would be trained with the 2,000 Guineas as his main objective, and that he had no regrets that the horse had not been entered into next year’s Derby. Bolger said that the horse’s jockey, Kevin Manning, was “reasonably optimistic he will stay ten furlongs, but beyond that I think probably not. We will start him off over a mile and then go from there.” If he does show more staying potential, there’s plenty of time to put him in the Derby next spring.

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There were mixed views about the Dewhurst win, with those unimpressed pointing to the time it had taken Dawn Approach to respond when asked to go and pick up long time race leader Letir Mor. But at the finish he had pulled a couple of lengths clear, and Bolger appeared totally unflustered. He said, "I never had any concerns. He has a lazy style of running - Kevin had to wind him up - but he got there in the end. He's capable of ruling the roost."

That view was shared by the Racing Post, which awarded him a rating of 122, and said that his current level of form was good enough to have won four of the last five 2,000 Guineas.

Bookmakers predictably shortened his odds for the Guineas, and it is practically certain that he’ll remain favourite for the race throughout the winter. Prices ranged from 3/1 with Stan James to a best of 5/1 with Ladbrokes.

Finally, the win confirmed the position of New Approach, who won the Derby rather than the Guineas for Bolger, as top first season sire. Dawn Approach has contributed most to that accolade, and it would be a fine confirmation of that blood line if he goes on to take a Classic next season.

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