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Bolger confirms Dawn for Derby but Kingsbarns to miss out

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Dawn Approach

Dawn Approach

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Dawn Approach

AIDAN O'Brien's former ante-post favourite Kingsbarns is unlikely to line up in the Epsom Derby, but 2,000 Guineas hero Dawn Approach almost certainly will.

Jim Bolger has confirmed his unbeaten colt will be aimed at the June 1 showpiece in a bid to emulate his sire, New Approach, which claimed the Derby five years ago.

"Dawn Approach has come out of the 2,000 Guineas in excellent shape and I couldn't be more pleased with him," Bolger revealed. "I am now looking forward to running him in the Investec Derby at Epsom."

Simon Crisford, racing manager to the horse's principal owners Godolphin, added: "His temperament and demeanour are excellent and he relaxes in his races, which means he has a better chance of seeing out the mile and a half."

However, the O'Brien team is facing up to the fact that they are running out of time with Kingsbarns. The unbeaten colt went into winter quarters as favourite for the premier Classic after a smooth success in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, where he beat subsequent 2,000 Guineas third Van Der Neer.

He suffered a setback in March and the Ballydoyle trainer has been facing a race against time, conceding "he is probably not going to make it there".

Speaking at the Curragh, O'Brien added: "We are struggling and he's not going to be fit to run at Chester or Leopardstown. He's sound now, but he's done so little for so long, he's like a sprinter. It's probably not fair on him, but we'll keep going and see. He's probably not going to make it there. For those races you have to have everything go smoothly."

O'Brien is set to have runners in the Classic trials this week, however, including Ballysax winner Battle Of Marengo. "The plan is for Battle Of Marengo to run in the Derrinstown (at Leopardstown on Sunday)," the Ballydoyle handler explained. "Magician could go for the Dee Stakes (at Chester on Friday) and Ruler Of The World is a possible for the Vase (Chester, Thursday). We'll split them up a bit.

"We might run Imperial Monarch in the Ormonde Stakes (Friday) and Nevis might go to Lingfield on Saturday (Lingfield Derby Trial)."

O'Brien's Newmarket 2,000 Guineas runners could go for the Irish equivalent, while 1,000 Guineas third Moth has the Irish 1,000 as an option.

Meanwhile, Toronado is also set to miss the Derby and be aimed towards Royal Ascot after running below par in the 2,000 Guineas.

Irish Independent