Wednesday 13 December 2017

'Dawn Approach' in break with tradition


GODOLPHIN, rarely if ever, race horses in their famous blue colours who are not trained by one of their own. But in a break with tradition, Jim Bolger has now won two Group 1 races for them with 'Dawn Approach', the most recent coming in last weekend's Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in the Godolphin silks.

The two-year-old son of 'New Approach' has now won all six of his races and spectacularly he started this winning streak in the very first two-year-old race of the year in Ireland, which has never thrown up the season's top two-year-old in previous racing history.

With the chesnut colt looking more like a three-year-old, Bolger has again confounded the racing world and looks set to continue his training of 'Dawn Approach' for his classic three-year-old career.


'Camelot's season seems to be on a serious downward curve, with defeat in the St. Leger followed by a distant seventh place in the Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe on October 7 now being followed by a bout of colic, necessitating surgery. The three-year-old touted by his trainer as one of his very best horses ever, rested now for the season, must firstly recover from surgery if the plan to race him as a four-year-old is to be advanced.

I'm just not sure how many horses return to racing at the top level following such an operation and, with a stallion career in the offing, will a dual Derby winner be risked again, having come up short in his last two races?

Maybe in the cold light of day connections might just be happy to use this medical condition and retire 'Camelot' to stud. Yes, he might well have been a Triple Crown winner if tactics used on St. Leger day could be altered, but looking back at the season, maybe he just doesn't merit being mentioned in the same breath as 'Nijinsky'? Perhaps all of us, including his owners, should accept what he has won to date and move on?


With the jump season getting into gear, Liz Doyle saddled a nice bumper winner in the shape of 'Tabac Brun', a five-year-old by 'Dom Alco', under Lisa O'Neill at 25/1 in Tramore on October 11.

Moving to Fairyhouse two days later, Ben Dalton joined forces with the Hickey family when 'Somedaysomehow', an 'Old Vic' sixyear-old mare, sprang a surprise at 14/1.

At the same meeting John Berry gave the leg up to Adam O'Neill on 'Acriveen' and the ten-year-old son of 'Accordion' duly won at 25/1.

Aidan O'Brien keeps sending out the flat winners and in the past week he has taken the final two black type events at Dundalk when 'Declaration Of War' took the Group 3 Diamond Stakes and 'Lines Of Battle' won the Star Appeal Stakes.

Other winners saddled by the Ballydoyle maestro included 'Leading Light', ridden by Kevin Manning, and 'Kingsbarns'.

Joseph O'Brien added further to his tally when winning on 'Prince Of Fire' at Dundalk in the colours of J.P. McManus and trained by Charlie Swan.

Concluding the round-up, Colm Murphy had a rare flat winner when 'Glam Gerry' won his maiden under Billy Lee at 16/1 at Navan on October 10, indicating a productive season over fences could be on the cards.


Estelle Kavanagh got a great start to the season from her Bunclody base when saddling 'Nothin To Say' to win at Castletown-Geoghegan on October 7.

Owned by her two brothers, Patrick and Darren Kavanagh, the seven-year-old 'Beneficial' mare led from three fences out to win under Darren Howard.

On the same card, Jamie Codd kept up his good start to the season when scoring a double at the same meeting. Winning on the highly-impressive five-year-old 'Rapid Warrior' for Liam Kenny and Tom Redmond, this son of 'Presenting' is, as Kenny reportedly stated, 'as good a horse as I've ever had'.

Codd completed his haul with the Cecil Ross-owned and trained 'DIY Lawyer' setting himself up for another fine season.

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