Group 1 winners Dawn Approach (Ire) and Epaulette will join Darley’s roster in Australia for the 2014 southern season.
DAWN APPROACH (New Approach) was unbeaten at two winning the G2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot before emulating his sire in the G1 National Stakes at the Curragh and G1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
Dawn Approach returned at three in even more impressive fashion when trouncing his rivals by a full five lengths in the G1 English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. After an unsuccessful tilt at the English Derby, he made one of racing’s greatest comebacks only 17 days later when returning to Royal Ascot for the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes (1600m).
In a dramatic renewal of the time-honoured feature for three-year-olds, Dawn Approach refused to surrender when tackled by Toronado in an epic finish to the best race of the five-day meeting.
Dawn Approach retired to Darley’s Kildangan Stud in Ireland late last year and has been rewarded by European breeders with a stellar book of mares that includes 93 stakes performers or dams of stakes performers.
EPAULETTE (Commands) is also currently standing his first season at Darley in Ireland.
The three-quarter brother to Helmet impressed from the moment he stepped on to the racecourse. A handsome colt, he easily won at Rosehill on debut an then claimed Canberra’s Black Opal second-up.
In the G2 Todman Stakes, a race won a decade earlier by Darley’s champion stallion Exceed And Excel, he met Pierro for the first time, edging past him in the straight before being nosed-out on the line.
Epaulette returned at three to take the G1 Golden Rose then stretched his speed out to 1600 metres for a G1 placing behind All Too Hard and Pierro in a high-class running of the Caulfield Guineas. He was a brave second in the G1 T J Smith in the autumn, finding only queen of the turf Black Caviar too good, before recording his second victory at the highest level with a devastating finishing burst in the G1 Doomben 10,000.
Darley champion Commands sired him from Singspiel mare Accessories who earlier foaled G1 winning two and three year-old Helmet (Exceed And Excel) and G3 winner Bullbars (Elusive Quality).
Dawn Approach and Epaulette will stand at Darley’s Kelvinside Stud in the Hunter Valley and their fees will be announced at a later date.