New Approach, last season's top juvenile and now at the top of the pile at three, is a product not only of his heredity – he has followed his sire Galileo to Derby victory and his dam Park Express was a high-class performer – but also his environment.
The chestnut's now famous displays of self-will may be traceable to his childhood. Because his mother was blind by the time she reared him, he had rather a spoilt, lonely upbringing; out in a paddock with just mum, not the hurly-burly of a gang of mares and foals. "He was brought up with a bell round his neck so that his mother would not step on him," said his trainer Jim Bolger, "and he was never in a hard situation. It was a whole new ball game when we started training and racing him and, under the circumstances, I think he's coping very well.
"His mind does take a bit of managing. He started to get very strong on the way to post and it almost became a health and safety thing, so we introduced him to the pony [stablemate Metamorphosis] and it has worked, so we're not going to change it.
"We work with him, not against him. Today the credit has to go to Kevin Manning. He had a difficult time with him in the race and it was a brave way he rode him. Even with the ability New Approach has it was never going to be easy on a course like this to keep it all under control. For me, it was the best ride I've seen round Epsom."
Ground allowing – he will not run again on anything approaching firm – New Approach's next target will be the Irish Derby, where he is likely to face a rematch with his two nearest pursuers from yesterday. Runner-up Tartan Bearer came so close to giving Sir Michael Stoute his fifth blue riband, jockey Ryan Moore his first, and to going one better than his full-brother Golan seven years ago. "He almost got there," said Moore, "but he's run a great race."
The white-blazed chestnut also paid testament to Stoute's judgement; the Newmarket-based trainer always considered him the best of the trio he fielded. "From the angle I was watching from, I thought we might just win. But obviously it was a bad angle." Stoute was also responsible for fourth-placed Doctor Fremantle, who recouped the £75,000 it cost to supplement him on Monday by finishing fourth. New Approach netted £802,443 for his victory.
The Dermot Weld-trained 9-2 favourite Casual Conquest, who was racing for only the third time, belied his inexperience. "I had no excuses," said his rider Pat Smullen, "he's run a blinder and he's very much a horse for the future."
For Frankie Dettori, there was no repeat of his day in the sun last year on Authorized. His mount Rio De La Plata finished seventh and will next be seen over a mile in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. "He didn't really handle the track, which was one problem," said Dettori. "The other was that he is really a miler or a 10-furlong horse. He travelled well enough but only until two furlongs out."
Those who supported Johnny Murtagh on the perceived first string King Of Rome knew their fate early. "He lost it at the start," said the jockey. "He reared up when the stalls opened."Reuse content