Dawn Approach on Tuesday morning warmed up for his Group 1, £300,000 Dewhurst engagement with a solid work-out under big-race jockey Kevin Manning. The unbeaten colt worked in company with fellow Dewhurst entry Leitir Mor over 5 1/2 furlongs at trainer Jim Bolger's Beechy Park in County Carlow.
The seven-furlong Dewhurst will be run at Newmarket on October 13 as part of Future Champions Day, a fantastic card that includes six Group races and the Cesarewitch Handicap.
Europe's leading two-year-old on official figures, Dawn Approach now carries the Godolphin blue silks and was last seen when emphatically taking the Group 1 Vincent O'Brien at the Curragh on September 15.
"I'm sure he has improved since the Curragh. I was a little concerned about the going (there) -- it was on the soft side -- and he hadn't run since June. I wasn't certain I had him at his peak," Bolger said. "As it happened, he seemed to do it very easily. He came out of the race very well and was very fresh two days later. I think he only dropped a couple of kilos and he had it back on within three days.
"On his work this morning, I couldn't be more pleased. Hopefully, he will hold his form into the Dewhurst."
Bolger is the Dewhurst king, having won four of the six last renewals. One of the quartet was Dawn Approach's sire, New Approach, and the pair share the same battling spirit according to Bolger.
"One thing that they very much have in common is the will to win," Bolger said. "After that, there would not be a lot of similarities. New Approach was highly charged and it was a bit of a struggle to keep the lid on him. But this fellow is quite laidback, even lazy in his races. He is very relaxed and I don't have any horses that sleep longer than he does! But he seems to have the same ability as New Approach.
"Dawn Approach showed us almost from the word 'go'. Just watching him, you could see this fellow had something -- he has a terrific action. He is able to quicken up when the need arises in his races and loves his racing.
"I've been very fortunate in having four horses that could win the Dewhurst -- hopefully this fellow will be the fifth.
"His optimum distance? From six furlongs to a mile. I would not see him staying much beyond a mile but I could be wrong."
Bolger will also bring Wexford Opera to the Group 1, £150,000 Middle Park over six furlongs and impressive Gowran Park maiden winner Trading Leather Group 3, £40,000 Autumn over one mile.
In addition to the Dewhurst and Middle Park, high-quality juvenile action continues with the Group 2, £60,000 Rockfel for fillies.
Future Champions Day also features the Group 2, £80,000 Challenge over seven furlongs as well as the famous heritage handicap, the £160,000 Cesarewitch over 2 1/4 miles. A superb afternoon of racing is completed by the Group 3, £55,000 Darley.