At the outset of the 2008 Flat Racing season the talking horse was very definitely the Jim Bolger trained New Approach who had swept all before him as a juvenile and was a hot favourite for both the English 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby.
The son of Galileo had won both the Group One National Stakes over seven furlongs at the Curragh and then completed his juvenile campaign with success in the England’s most prestigious two year old race, the Dewhurst Stakes, also over seven furlongs at Newmarket.
Alas, despite being involved in a thriller in the following season’s 2000 Guineas, beaten on the line by Henrythenavigator. However, New Approach bounced back by winning the Epsom Derby that year, following in the footsteps of his Sire, Galileo, winner of the Derby in 2001.
Fast forward four years and as New Approach enjoys life at stud, the “fruits of his loins”, Dawn Approach, is following a route to Superstar status, identical to that of his father.
Dawn Approach won Saturday’s Dewhurst Stakes (YouTube video of race here) at Newmarket by 2 3/4 lengths, justifying his 3/10 starting price and that came after taking the National Stakes over in Ireland last month. And now, “like father, like son” he will start his three year old season in 2013 as the antepost favourite for the opening two Colts classics; 5/1 to win the 2000 Guineas and 12/1 to win the Derby.
In winning the Dewhurst, Dawn Approach did come under some pressure but that could be attributed to his lazy running style and once jockey, Kevin Manning, gave him a reminder, there was never any doubt of the outcome. He finished comfortably clear of stablemate, Leitir Mor, in second place and three lengths clear of the Ballydoyle entry George Vancouver.
In Saturdays other major Group One juvenile race, the Middle Park Stakes, run over six furlongs, it was the Clive Cox trained Reckless Abandon who held off fellow joint favourite, Moohaajim, winning by a neck with Gale Force Ten a further neck behind in third.
The win means that the son of Exchange Rate remains unbeaten after five starts which includes the GroupOne Prix Morny at Deauville in August. The win at Newmarket came after a fierce battle with Moohaajim where the lead changed hands at least twice on the final furlong. However, Gerald Mosse, onboard the winner, held off the challenge of Adam Kirby.
Unlike Dawn Approach, it would appear that the odds compilers have yet to be convinced about Reckless Abandon, who remains a 20/1 chance to win the Guineas next May and he doesn’t feature in the Derby market as breeding suggests a mile will be his optimum trip.