Saturday 24 February 2018

Bolger relishing Dawn's latest Toronado battle

Bolger: Approach right for Goodwood
Bolger: Approach right for Goodwood

Thomas Kelly

JIM Bolger's Dawn Approach will carry plenty of stable confidence into his latest clash with Toronado when the pair lock horns in the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on July 31.

Dawn Approach beat Toronado in the 2,000 Guineas and bounced back from a woeful Derby effort to again account for Richard Hannon's runner in the St James's Palace Stakes, although there was only a short-head to split the pair at Royal Ascot.

Toronado's rider Richard Hughes was despondent afterwards as his mount suffered along with the Godolphin-owned Dawn Approach from scrimmaging in the straight.

While fully respectful of the Toronado challenge, Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford is also relishing the prospect of a showdown with French ace Intello in the Prix Jacques le Marois, should all go well at Goodwood, and possibly a trip to America at the end of the year.

"Jim is in the driving seat and knows Dawn Approach incredibly well," Crisford said. "He is keen to go for the Sussex and the horse is very, very well.

"Dawn Approach needs to beat Toronado fairly and squarely again over the Sussex Downs to establish himself as the true three-year-old champion over this distance and then head on to Deauville for the Prix Jacques le Marois to take on Intello.

"Toronado could warm us up a bit in the Sussex Stakes but I don't think he will beat us. Dawn Approach is very courageous and has the perfect attitude for a miler."

Praising his horse's constitution, Bolger said his star three-year-old was in great form. "The races Dawn Approach has had this season did not take very much out of him because he was bucking and squealing two days after each one," Bolger said. "I am not really concerned about the course at Goodwood. I prefer a level track, but it is the same for everybody."

Meanwhile, Riposte and Venus De Milo have been supplemented for the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday evening. Trained respectively by Lady Cecil and Aidan O'Brien, connections of the two fillies have stumped up the €40,000 required to allow them to contest the Irish Classic.

The Khalid Abdullah-owned Riposte was a striking winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot on her last start, while the unbeaten Venus De Milo claimed an Oaks trial at Naas towards the end of June.

Thirteen fillies have stood firm at the final entry stage, with Ralph Beckett having confirmed Investec Oaks one-two Talent and Secret Gesture.

Talent sprang a major surprise when slamming her better-fancied stable companion in Epsom's mile-and-a-half Classic at the end of May. An attempt to complete the English-Irish Oaks double has been on her agenda ever since.

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