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Only one Approach

SINCE 2006 only three trainers have won the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. Aidan O'Brien won it once. Henry Cecil also won it once with a certain Frankel, who you may have heard of a couple of times since then.

Jim Bolger however, won the two-year-old contest on four occasions and looks as close to a stonewall certainty as you can get in horseracing to win a fifth in seven renewals.

Dawn Approach not only heads the line-up for tomorrow's feature race, but he also scared away those who have opted to go elsewhere or not run at all -- that is just how far clear Dawn Approach appears of his generation.

So impressive was the Bolger-trained colt at Royal Ascot that Sheikh Mohammed swooped to purchase a majority share in the son of New Approach, a horse he also spent quite a few pounds sterling on from the same base of Bolger's Coolcullen.

Bolger admitted this week that although he expects tomorrow to be Dawn Approach's final run of what has been an extremely fruitful season, a trip to America for the Breeders' Cup wouldn't be turned down if Sheikh Mohammed fancied it.

Tomorrow will be six from six should he prevail and it really is no surprise that his rivals scurried once it looked certain he was running. Punters holding vouchers with 'evens' on it about Dawn Approach from earlier in the week are already forming an orderly queue.

A maiden win in the first two-year-old race of the year back in March got the ball rolling, before stepping up to win a winners' race at Naas in May. A return to Woodlands Park saw him claim listed honours and the improvement just kept continuing.

Group Three company was skipped in favour of heading to Royal Ascot for the Group Two Coventry Stakes, which appeared the toughest task to date.

Dawn Approach didn't shy away though and held Olympic Glory by three parts of a length and that was Richard Hannon's colts' only defeat from five starts.

In fact, only last weekend at Longchamp did Olympic Glory go and further frank the form by justifying 6/4 favouritism to win the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardare by a length and a quarter.

The Group One then followed and it was a facile victory with four and three parts of a length to spare from Designs On Rome, although you'd imagine tougher tests than that will await later in his career.

Dawn Approach was a 2/5 shot when winning the Goffs Vincent O'Brien Stakes and he is likely to be a similar price tomorrow.

Aidan O'Brien's George Vancouver and The Ferryman wouldn't appear to be capable enough to match him, while Leitir Mor, the favourite's stable companion, is likely to pick up some minor money and Funk Soul Brother is a rank outsider.

That leaves John Gosden's unbeaten course and distance winner Ashdan most likely to cause a surprise, but don't be too expectant of anything barring a Dawn Approach victory and how great would it be if Sheikh Mohammed opted to leave him with Bolger for his Classic season next year as well.

The chances of that are slim, but Bolger is unlikely to lose too much sleep either way. He will be busy finding the next New Approach, the next Dawn Approach, the next star.


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