Unbeaten Dawn Approach Faces Five in Dewhurst

Europe's top 2-year-old Dawn Approach will meet five in the Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I).

Europe’s leading 2-year-old, Dawn Approach, will put his unbeaten record on the line against five opponents Oct. 13 at Newmarket in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I), Great Britain’s marquee race for juveniles.

The seven-furlong test is a key indicator for the next season’s classics and is the headline event at the Suffolk racecourse on "Dubai Future Champions Day." The card also includes another top-level race for 2-year-olds—the Vision AE Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I) at six furlongs—and four other group races as well as the time-honored Cesarewitch Handicap.

Dawn Approach is from the first crop of New Approach, who took the 2007 Dewhurst before winning the 2008 Vodafone Derby (Eng-I).

Dawn Approach is the early favorite for the 2013 Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) and could further boost his credentials with a Dewhurst win. He comes into the race with five victories from as many lifetime starts, including the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Ire-I) on Sept. 15 at the Curragh in his most recent start for trainer Jim Bolger.

The chestnut colt won his first three career starts in Ireland while racing as a homebred for Bolger and his wife, Jackie. Prior to the Vincent O’Brien National in which he started in the Godolphin Racing colors for the first time, he was sent to England for the Coventry Stakes (Eng-II) in June at Royal Ascot, where he defeated Olympic Glory by three-quarters of a length. That victory that was flattered Oct. 7 when Olympic Glory capped a subsequent three-race win streak in the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Grand Criterium (Fr-I) on the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) undercard.

Bolger, who has won four of the six most recent editions of the Dewhurst, also will send out Go and Go Round Tower Stakes (Ire-III) winner Leitir Mor. The homebred Holy Roman Emperor colt has placed twice at the highest level, finishing third to his stablemate in the Vincent O’Brien National and second in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) in August. He is expected to set the pace in the Dewhurst for Dawn Approach.


Other contenders include Khalid Abdullah’s homebred Ashdan, a highly regarded Dansili colt who steps up to group I competition following convincing wins in his career debut in August at Newmarket and a conditions race on Sept. 14 at Doncaster for trainer John Gosden.


Trainer Aidan O’Brien has two entrants: Coolmore and partners’ George Vancouver, a Henrythenavigator colt who finished second to Middle Park favorite Reckless Abandon in the Darley Prix Morny (Fr-I) in August at Deauville, then sixth to Leitir Mor in the Round Tower on Sept. 9 at the Curragh; and maiden winner The Ferryman, a Galileo colt.


Funk Soul Brother, a Cockney Rebel colt trained by Charles Hills, rounds out the field.