THE countdown to next week's Royal Ascot continues to pick up pace and yesterday, bookmakers Boylesports made Dawn Approach the 13/8 joint favourite with Magician for the St James's Palace Stakes on the opening day.
Dawn Approach was yesterday left in the Group One contest at the latest forfeit stage with trainer Jim Bolger surprising the racing masses by confirming that Royal Ascot was back on the agenda for the 2,000 Guineas-winning colt who disappointed in the Epsom Derby.
Royal Ascot's opening day is renowned for being full of quality and now it has the mouth-watering prospect of featuring the clash of the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas winners in the St James's Palace Stakes.
Godolphin's racing manager Simon Crisford said: "Jim is very happy with how Dawn Approach has done since the Derby and he is keen to let him run at Royal Ascot if everything continues to go well with his preparation between now and the race on Tuesday.
"We had a discussion this morning and decided to let him run if he pleases in his work. Jim has been delighted with how relaxed Dawn Approach has been in his training."
Bolger has also left Leitir Mor in the race, although he is engaged at Leopardstown later this evening in the Ballycorus Stakes, and other significant acceptors are Richard Hannon's Toronado and Aidan O'Brien's Mars.
In other Royal Ascot news, Thomas Chippendale, who gave Henry Cecil his 75th Royal Ascot winner at the meeting last year, is on course to run in the Hardwicke Stakes on the final day of the meeting next week.