Trainer Jim Bolger “couldn’t be happier” with Dawn Approach as he looks to confirm his superiority over Toronado in a mouthwatering Qipco Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood today.
Champion juvenile after an unbeaten six-race campaign, Dawn Approach made a brilliant three-year-old return with an awesome victory in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, with Toronado only fourth. Dawn Approach then suffered his first defeat with a spectacular collapse in the Investec Derby, in which he pulled fiercely for his head before weakening dramatically to trail home last of 12 runners. His Epsom demise proved only a minor blip, however, as he roared back to form with a thrilling success in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Trainer Richard Hannon’s insistence Toronado was not at his best in the Rowley Mile Classic was justified as his charge got much closer to Dawn Approach at the Royal meeting, beaten just a short head in a pulsating finish. The pair again do battle on the Sussex Downs, with Bolger in confident mood.
Bolger said: “I’d say he’s a hard horse to get past. He has a great mind and a great constitution. He’s a very sound horse and, of course, he has the ability to match. Since last week he’s rated the best horse in the world, so he has to tick all the boxes to get in that position. I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Bolger also saddles Dawn Approach’s stable companion and regular pacesetter Leitir Mor.
The Hannon team are in typically bullish mood about Toronado. Speaking on his website, the trainer said: “Both horses (Toronado and Dawn Approach) want a proper gallop, enabling them to settle, but we know that our fellow is straightforward in that we can ride him from the front or sit on him so as to utilise his speed. We think that the track will suit him, and his preparation since Ascot has gone smoothly. If we get beat then so be it, but we could not be happier with our fellow, and he is so much more relaxed since we moved him to Herridge and equipped him with the spoon-bit. Fingers crossed this will be our day.”
Garswood has proved a high-achiever for a horse still considered to be in the education stage of his career as he grabbed the opening day feature of Glorious Goodwood. Trainer Richard Fahey will tread carefully with his nascent talent, who had dashed his hopes of a first British Classic but excelled at seven furlongs by passing the high-class Caspar Netscher in the bet365 Lennox Stakes.
Garswood could not improve upon a smooth victory in the Free Handicap when only seventh in the 2000 Guineas, although a more encouraging fourth in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot led to the Dutch Art colt occupying the position of 9-4 favourite for this Group 2 event. Carrying the colours of David Armstrong, the supplier of Fahey’s July Cup winner Mayson, he was tucked in behind the leaders by Ryan Moore and challenged down the outside with great conviction to finish a neck ahead.
A downpour all morning led Fahey to reluctantly part with £48 for a new tweed cap, but wetter conditions were at least in favour of his runner.
“We’ve always felt he was a very nice horse,” said Fahey. “He’s not the finished article yet, he’s growing all the time. He’s still a big schoolboy at the moment. We were disappointed in the Guineas, but he’s been showing so much speed at home and we were trying to stretch him to a mile. He’s a lot more relaxed now and you can switch him off.”
Meanwhile, at Perth last night Jason Maguire and Billfromthebar (15-8) snatched an unlikely victory in the opener after the Nicky Henderson-trained favourite Otto The Great (8-11_ drew six-lengths clear jumping the final flight, only to be overhauled on the run-in.
In the amateur riders’ handicap hurdle, a gamble was landed after Mikey Ennis and Cadore trounced Morning Time by six lengths. Glenfarg-based Lucy Normile trains the winner who was backed into 2-1 from a high of 10-1 earlier on in the day.
Patrick Griffin’s Irish raider Twentypoundluck earned himself a trip to Taby in Sweden for a valuable race in August after a nice performance in the novices’ Chase under James Reveley.
1.55 Lieutenant Miller
2.30 Havana Beat
3.05 Dawn Approach
4.15 Much Promise
4.50 Ribbons (nap)
5.25 Johnny Castle
3.25 Lord Of Drums
4.35 Hidden Future
5.10 Baby’s Hot
5.40 Call Box
2.05 Smart Salute
3.50 Gold Show
4.25 Light Rose
5.00 Legal Bond
5.35 Little Jimmy Odsox
6.10 Boy The Bell
6.00 Where The Boys Are
6.30 East Texas Red
7.05 Snow Hill
8.45 Gabrial The Boss
5.50 Lutine Charlie
6.55 Voice Of A Leader
8.00 Willow Beck