False dawns have proved rather too frequent for Godolphin over recent years, but there were substantial signs of renewal both on and off the track at Royal Ascot last week. Sure enough, the Maktoums' elite stable yesterday dovetailed its new momentum with that of its breeding wing, buying a majority share in Dawn Approach. The unbeaten Coventry Stakes winner will stay with Jim Bolger for the rest of this season, but precedent suggests that he will ultimately be transferred to one of the Godolphin trainers.
Dawn Approach has contributed to a sensational start at stud by New Approach, who was likewise sold by Bolger to Sheikh Mohammed – but remained in his care, running in the silks of Princess Haya, when proceeding to win the 2008 Derby.
New Approach was among several young stallion prospects purchased around that time by the sheikh, dismayed by the stagnation of Darley Stud. On the basis that at least one of them had to come good, the onus would then be on Godolphin's training personnel to show that they had only been held back by a want of suitable material.
New Approach, who gave the Maktoums access to the Galileo blood they had so expensively abjured at the sales, accounted for the winners of all three juvenile races beyond five furlongs at the royal meeting. Each is now under the sheikh's umbrella. Tha'ir won the Chesham Stakes for Saeed bin Suroor; Newfangled, favourite for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas after her devastating display in the Albany, is trained by John Gosden for Princess Haya; and Dawn Approach is another lucrative reward for Bolger's expertise.
A Godolphin statement advised that no decision on the colt's base next season will be made until "much later" this year. Bolger will in the meantime train Dawn Approach for the Group One Goffs Vincent O'Brien Stakes – formerly the National Stakes – at the Curragh in September.
There was a poignant atmosphere at Carlisle yesterday, where the two most venerable races in its calendar were both won by former colleagues of Campbell Gillies – the jump jockey whose death in a swimming accident, on holiday in Greece, had so shocked the sport the previous day. Willie Twiston-Davies and Graham Lee, who have both switched to the Flat since last winter, won the Bell and Plate on Levitate and Lexi's Boy respectively.
Parley (8.20 Hamilton) Stands out here as a progressive three-year-old, caught out by smart one in a sprint finish last weekend.
Dora's Sister (5.00 Newcastle) Did not get home last time out but caught the eye in similar conditions on her reappearance.
One to watch
Harrison's Cave (Aidan O'Brien) Can win a big staying handicap after finishing strongly at Ascot last week.
Where the money's going
Palazzo Bianco is 14-1 from 16s with Hills for the Northumberland Plate.