New Approach Brilliant in Vodafone Derby
Jim Bolger, who conditions the 2007 Irish and English champion 2-year-old for Princess Haya of Jordan, had stated in April that his star colt would not contest the British classic, targeting the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I) on June 29 instead. Bolger had a change of heart earlier in the week, however, after seeing how well New Approach was doing since his second place finish in the Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas (Ire-I) two weeks ago.
New Approach, who had been the winter book favorite for the Derby, went off as the second choice at 5-1. Favoritism fell upon another Irish invader, Casual Conquest, who had been supplemented by trainer Dermot Weld after an impressive win in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes (Ire-II) May 11.
Aidan O’Brien had his usual battalion of runners, this time saddling five colts. It was one of the five, maiden Bashkirov, who went to the front along with fellow longshot Maidstone Mixture and set a blistering early pace.
The Henry Cecil-trained Kandahar Run followed closely in third, as Casual Conquest and Doctor Fremantle were content to track the early leaders. New Approach, who was a bit keen during the early stages of the race, was in an unusual position, racing toward the back of the pack under Kevin Manning.
As the field began to round the turn and head toward Tattenham Corner, the field began to converge upon the two leaders, with Kandahar Run the first to show in front. Casual Conquest, Doctor Fremantle, and Washington Irving were right on his heels, with Tartan Bearer beginning to get wound up on the far outside.
New Approach, meanwhile, had a wall of horses in front of him and looked hopelessly beaten. Manning maneuvered the colt to the left, toward an opening along the inside rail. New Approach now had clear sailing, and the pair began to reel in Casual Conquest and Doctor Fremantle.
New Approach hit the front with about 200 yards to go, and had plenty left in the tank to withstand the charge of Tartan Bearer by a half-length. Casual Conquest held on for third, another 4 1/2-lengths further back.
Final time over the good turf course was 2:36.5.
New Approach is by 2001 Derby victor Galileo, out of Park Express, who was a champion in both England and Ireland. He is a half-brother to stakes winners Shinko Forest and Dazzling Park. He was bred in Ireland by Lodge Park Stud.
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