THE QIPCO 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes winner, Dawn Approach, was today reported in top form by his trainer, Jim Bolger, as he gears up for Britain’s richest raceday, the £3.4m QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot this Saturday.
Europe’s champion juvenile colt in 2012, when he was unbeaten in six starts, has recovered from sickness which followed his disappointing run in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August. On that occasion he finished eight lengths behind Moonlight Cloud and Olympic Glory, with the latter seemingly sure to take him on again on Saturday.
Dawn Approach (left) and Toronado.
“Dawn Approach is very well and we are very happy with him,” said Bolger this morning, as he prepares his stable star for Europe’s richest mile race, the £1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, for which he is the ante-post favourite.
“I am hopeful that he will be able to cope with the softer ground but we won’t be sure until after the race.” He has encountered yielding ground in Ireland and good-to-soft in the UK, but never softer than that, though the straight course at Ascot does drain particularly well. The going is currently good-to-soft on the straight course with a dry day forecast today.
He could yet have his fourth encounter with Toronado, which Dawn Approach leads 2-1, though that will depend on how much rain falls between now and Saturday with Toronado appreciating good or faster ground.
South African racing fans will be hoping that if drops do fall, it happens gently only. Mike de Kock earlier this week also expressed his concern about the weather and the possibility that Sheikh Hamdan’s Soft Falling Rain, the principal danger to the accomplished British pair, may not be well suited to soft track conditions on the day. – exracts from GBI Racing.