English 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach made a truly remarkable comeback when landing the St James’s Palace Stakes (1600m) on opening day at Royal Ascot.
His fourth Group 1 triumph arrived just 17 days after a dismal performance in the English Derby.
Dawn Approach (3c New Approach – Hymn Of The Dawn by Phone Trick) was badly hampered at the top of the straight on Tuesday, however, he took the lead and put up gutsy performance to hold off the strong challenge of Toronado (High Chaparral).
“Even though he received a serious knock, he still had everything very much covered,” jockey Kevin Manning said. “He got to the front and wasn’t headed. He’s a very determined horse.”
Dawn Approach is a homebred for Jim Bolger and the Irish trainer sold a majority share in the chestnut to Sheikh Mohammed after a G2 victory in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot twelve months ago.
The colt went on to G1 victories in the National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes during an unbeaten juvenile campaign, before returning at three to win the English 2000 Guineas by five lengths.
Sheikh Mohammed wasn’t surprised when Bolger decided to back him up so soon after the English Derby debacle. “Jim bred the horse and knows him very well, so I was happy to support him,” the Dubai ruler reasoned. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. Today has proved to me that Dawn Approach is the best miler in the world.”
The son of New Approach holds nominations for the G1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on July 6 and G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on July 31.
New Approach (Galileo) is also sire of this year’s G1 English Oaks winner Talent and G2 Dante Stakes winner Libertarian. He shuttles to Darley’s Victorian base at Northwood Park at a fee of $55,000 (inc gst).