Although Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford didn’t rule out the race at Goodwood, he made it very clear that preference was for Deauville. He said, “It was Jim Bolger’s slightly preferred option after Ascot and I think it was Sheikh Mohammed’s slightly preferred option as well. Nothing is set in stone. The Sussex Stakes is still a very viable alternative, but I think he is more likely to be running in France than at Goodwood.”
If Dawn Approach does head to France, he’s likely to line up against French Derby winner Intello. That’s a little odd, as Intello is in training for the Arc in autumn, over a distance of 12 furlongs, whereas the Prix Jacques le Marois will see him stepping down in distance to a mile. Trainer Andre Fabre didn’t sound totally convinced this was the right move, but it’s the owners who pay the bills, and that’s what the Wertheimer brothers want to do.
Fabre said, “He s going to the Prix Messidor so we can see whether he is classy enough for the Prix Jacques le Marois. It would give us a good indication. He did win at a mile, then he won at Newmarket (over 9 furlongs) and was third in the Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) but it was a messy race, so I thought it would be interesting to see him back at a mile before making a decision about whether to go to the Marois. He has other options at Deauville. It is a challenge and the owners’ wish. They fancy the Marois very much and think it is a good race to produce stallions.”
It sounds as if Intello will be off to stud at the end of the year.
The two horses are not just competing against each other. At the end of the season, racing journalists, along with Racing Post and Daily Telegraph readers will cast their votes for the Cartier Racing Awards. These will be added to the points scored in Group races during the season. Dawn Approach and Intello are the current leaders in the category for 3-year-old colts, with 98 and 58 points respectively. There’s plenty of time for that to change, and Deauville will be the next opportunity to see if he can make inroads into the lead Dawn Approach currently holds.