Godolphin's Dawn Approach remained undefeated and provided a morale booster to the Maktoum family's racing operation when he burst clear of 12 opponents for a brilliant win in the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), the first jewel in England's Triple Crown May 4 at Newmarket.
Making his season debut as the 11-8 favorite with Kevin Manning aboard, the New Approach colt kicked clear of previously unbeaten Toronado inside the final furlong and romped to a five-length triumph. He scored for the seventh time in as many career starts for Irish trainer Jim Bolger and stamped himself as the favorite for the Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I) June 1.
Dawn Approach was timed in 1:35.84 for the straight mile on the Rowley Course.
Glory Awaits, at 150-1 odds, raced alone down the center of track and led more than a furlong out, but Dawn Approach was unleashed a powerful burst and stormed past to secure the win. Glory Awaits hung on for second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of third-place finisher Van Der Neer, at 20-1. Van Der Neer just edged stablemate Toronado, the second choice at 11-4 odds, by a neck for third.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) victor George Vancouver, 20-1, raced off the pace in midfield and never threatened before finishing tenth.
Dawn Approach won all six starts of 2012 and was honored with the Cartier Award as Europe's top juvenile male. The title was secured by back-to-back wins in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (Ire-I) Sept. 15 at the Curragh and Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) Oct. 13 at Newmarket.
Godolphin was recently rocked by a doping scandal after one of its trainers, Mahmood Al Zarooni, was slapped with an eight-year ban for giving 11 horses prohibited anabolic steriods at his Moulton Paddocks yard in Newmarket.
Sheikh Mohammed shut down the yard, but he was at Newmarket to watch Dawn Approach in his tour de force performance.
"I am very happy to come and see a good horse win the Guineas," he told Channel 4. " I think he's a great horse."
Several bookmakers have made Dawn Approach the Epsom Derby favorite. Bolger said a start in the second jewel of the Triple Crown might be possible if the colt emerges from the Guineas in good order.
"I don't know about the Derby, Sheikh Mohammed and myself said we would sleep on it and take it from there," Bolger told The Guardian. "If he wants to go, I'd be very happy to. We have to see how he comes out of this, but he's hardy and I'm sure he'll be fine. I'm sure he can only improve from here as that's his first time on a racecourse this year."
Dawn Approach is from the first crop of two-time European champion New Approach, an undefeated juvenile who was the runner-up in the 2008 Two Thousand Guineas and Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) but who went on to win the Epsom Derby (Eng-I) and Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I). The 8-year-old son of Galileo stands at Darley's Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket.
Bred in Ireland by Bolger, Dawn Approach is out of the Phone Trick mare Hymn of the Dawn, a half sister to grade I-placed Galantas from the family of U.S. grade I winner Miss Oceana and French group I winner Kitwood.