Bolger's Classic hopes Dawn early
Such is the nature of the game, barely have the tweets about the Derby vanished into the ether than there is chirruping about the 2013 Classics. After winning his first two races, the Irish colt Dawn Approach was the subject of some tentative trading for the 2,000 Guineas next May; now, after making it three from three at Naas yesterday, he is quoted at 14-1 as the early market leader in some bookmakers' lists.
More immediately and realistically, the white-faced chestnut, from the Jim Bolger yard, has Royal Ascot – the meeting starts a fortnight today – as his target, with the Chesham Stakes over seven furlongs the most likely of his options.
Dawn Approach's task in yesterday's six-furlong Listed race was arguably made easier after his perceived chief rival Cougar Ridge refused to enter his starting stall, and then he had to knuckle down and work hard under Kevin Manning to see off the challenge of Mister Marc. But the 4-9 favourite's attitude in the tussle could not be faulted and once he gained the upper hand and met the uphill finish he stretched clear for a near three-length victory.
"Kevin said they went five-furlong pace, a fierce gallop, all the way," said Bolger, "but he stuck it out well. He'll go to Ascot now, most probably for the Chesham, possibly the Coventry. He's a smart horse, and very laid-back and straightforward to have anything to do with."
Small steps yet but all upward and Dawn Approach, his sire New Approach's first runner, marks an encouraging start at stud for the young stallion, winner of the 2008 Derby for Bolger and now resident at Sheikh Mohammed's flagship Dalham Hall Stud near Newmarket.
Royal Ascot is also the next likely stop for Mister Marc's Richard Hannon stablemate Sky Lantern, ridden to victory by Richard Hughes in the filly equivalent contest on the Co Kildare card. The grey daughter of Red Clubs has the Albany Stakes pencilled in.
At the other end of the juvenile food chain, Wayne Rooney is finding that his venture into ownership has as much potential for disappointment as wearing an England shirt. His colt Pippy, acquired for £63,000, finished last on his debut at Chester and repeated the performance at Carlisle yesterday.
Chris McGrath's Nap: Lady Loch (3.15 Leicester)
Has been keeping good maiden company and has first-time headgear on her handicap debut.
Next best: Silver Lace (5.35 Yarmouth)
Should be ready for step up in trip her pedigree would seem to indicate, and the drop in class.
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