Dawn Approach Returns to Winning Ways
1 Dawn Approach 5/4 Fav
Classic winner Dawn Approach turned a nadir into triumph when rekindling the form that saw him win the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas.
Clinging on by a short-head from runner-up Toronado, Dawn Approach took the St James’s Palace Stakes just 17 days after finishing last in the Investec Derby at Epsom. He gave jockey Kevin Manning a horrible ride that day, pulling uncontrollably, and while keen today the shorter one-mile trip played to his strengths when it mattered.
Dawn Approach is trained by his breeder, Jim Bolger, and is part-owned by him and Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation. Asked if he was surprised when Bolger announced he wanted to run the chesnut colt in today’s race so soon after Epsom, Sheikh Mohammed said: “Yes, but Jim bred the horse and knows him very well, so when he said he wanted to run the owner was happy to support him. The biggest risk is not taking any risk. Today has proved to me that this horse is the best miler in the world.”
Bolger said: “It’s the nature of the sport to take chances and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Sheikh Mohammed was a very willing risk taker and I’m delighted he was.”
A stewards’ enquiry looked into an incident between the two- and one-furlong marker when several horses were knocked sideways, including the first two, and Bolger said: “He was fortunate to survive that, but he did and the rest is history. He’s very tough and hardy. I’m very happy, and relief plays a part in it, but I knew he wouldn’t let me down.”
When Bolger decided to run Dawn Approach in today’s race he sent Godolphin’s Simon Crisford a text that said: ‘Be prepared for a shock’. Bolger said: “Simon spoke to His Highness who said he would be very happy for the horse to run. Two weeks and a couple of days [since Epsom] isn’t too soon for me and the horse ate up and was very happy throughout that period.
“Pat O’Donovan was very brave because he was happy to ride the horse out in a hackamore [a bitless bridle] after Epsom for nearly a week because his mouth was quite sore. That was the winning of today’s race. To ride him in a hackamore was really something. I didn’t get low after Epsom, but I don’t get too high either – I’m in the middle. This game would tame tigers, so I would never get carried away. We’ll talk about plans but I’m not making any predictions yet – everything is up for consideration.”
Kevin Manning said: “He took a bit of a bite again – he was a little bit keen with me – but I got there and, once I got my head in front, Richard was fighting me but I was always holding on. He is a real battler. I wasn’t sure but I thought I had won.”
St James's Palace Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1)
FANTASTIC DAWN APPROACH
Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, reacted to Dawn Approach’s gutsy win over Toronado: “It is fantastic.
“Jim (Bolger) called every shot there and got it absolutely right. It was a magnificent call on his part because it is the big race of the week.
“It was a high-risk strategy and he pulled it off. Dawn Approach has achieved a phenomenal amount as a racehorse – an unbeaten champion two-year-old, a Guineas win and success in the St James’s Palace Stakes.
“He is now destined for great things ahead at stud. I hear he got a hefty bump and knew that the stewards’ inquiry did not involve him.
“I am sure we will stick to this trip with Dawn Approach and we will look at the championship mile races around Europe and further afield.”
Kevin Manning has ridden Dawn Approach in all his starts. The jockey said: “When I pulled him out, I have gone there with plenty of horse but received a serious knock from the inside. There was then some contact with the horse on the outside.
“I thought I had everything very much covered when I pulled him out.
“He got to the front and was not headed all the way to the line. He is a very gutsy and determined horse.”
Toronado had to settle for second place after Dawn Approach was announced the short-head victor in a thrilling renewal of the Group One St James’s Palace Stake. This was after interference inside the last two furlongs when Glory Awaits drifted to the stands side forcing Magician, Mars, Dawn Approach and Toronado wide.
Richard Hannon, who trains the High Chaparral colt, commented afterwards: “That’s racing. At least he’s back! He’s a very good horse.
“It was a shame really that there was that interference otherwise I think we would have got it. The winner went on to us and knocked us into the middle of the track. I don’t think it was the winner’s fault he got a knock and it concertinaed onto us.”
Richard Hughes, who rode the QIPCO 2000 guineas fourth, added: “I'd have won – I deliberately went round the outside so I didn’t get a bump.”
THE ST JAMES'S PALACE STAKES
2012-WINNER-MOST IMPROVED 3-9-00 Owner-Iraj Parvizi; Trainer-Brian Meehan; Jockey-Kieren Fallon; SP-9/1
2011-WINNER-FRANKEL 3-9-00 Owner-Khalid Abdullah; Trainer-Henry Cecil; Jockey-Tom Queally; SP-30/100 Fav
2010-WINNER-CANFORD CLIFFS 3-9-00 Owner-Heffer Syndicate, Susan Roy & Mrs Instance; Trainer-Richard Hannon;
2009- WINNER-MASTERCRAFTSMAN 3-9-00 Owner-Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien
2008-WINNER-HENRYTHENAVIGATOR 3-9-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Johnny Murtagh;
2007-WINNER-EXCELLENT ART 3-9-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Jamie Spencer; SP-8/1
2006-WINNER-ARAAFA 3-9-00 Owner-Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar; Trainer-Jeremy Noseda; Jockey-Alan Munro;
2005-WINNER-SHAMARDAL 3-9-00 Owner-Godolphin; Trainer-Saeed bin Suroor; Jockey-Kerrin McEvoy; SP-7/4 Fav
2004-WINNER-AZAMOUR 3-9-00 Owner-H H Aga Khan; Trainer-John Oxx IRE; Jockey-Michael Kinane; SP-9/2
2003-WINNER-ZAFEEN 3-9-00 Owner-Jaber Abdullah; Trainer-Mick Channon; Jockey-Darryll Holland; SP-8/1
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