'Dawn' Stays Perfect With Vincent O'Brien Win

Dawn Approach, in first start for Godolphin, blitzes rivals at the Curragh Sept. 15.

Dawn Approach made his first start in Godolphin blue a winning one as he took command in the final furlong and drew off to capture the $258,500 Vincent O'Brien Stakes (Ire-I) by 4 3/4- engths at the Curragh Sept. 15.

The 2-year-old colt is from the first crop of New Approach, who was a champion at ages 2 and 3 and was a five-time group I winner. Originally campaigned by breeder Jim Bolger, Dawn Approach was purchased privately by Godolphin after his victory in the Coventry Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot. The chestnut colt remains in the barn of trainer Jim Bolger, at least through the end of the season.

A field of seven went to the post in the Vincent O'Brien, which was formerly known as the National Stakes. The lineup was reduced by one with the scratch of Aidan O'Brien's Cristoforo Colombo, who was injured on the trip to the Curragh from Ballydoyle. As a result, Dawn Approach was sent off the heavy favorite at 2-5, with the O'Brien-trained Nevis seen as his main competition.

Flying The Flag who zipped to the front at the start. The rest of the field was content to let him go, and he soon opened up a large lead while bounding along. Leitir Mor raced in second, with his stablemate Dawn Approach sitting just off him in third. Probably ran in fourth, as Nevis was settled toward the rear of the field early.

Flying The Flag continued to have things his own way up front for much of the race. As the field entered the final two furlongs Flying The Flag began to run out of steam, and was soon waving a white flag as he surrendered the lead to Dawn Approach, charging on the outside under Kevin Manning.

In the final furlong it was all Dawn Approach, who continued to draw off from the field to win easily. Designs On Rome closed for second, with Leitir Mor another 4 1/4 lengths back in third.

Final time for the seven furlongs was 1:25.50 over the yielding turf course.

After the race Bolger told reporters, "I was a little apprehensive of the ground coming into today, but after that I wouldn't be worried about running on ground a little worse. They went a really good pace and he quickened up really well, so he'd have to be right up there with the very best of them (that he has trained)."

As for the future of Dawn Approach, Bolger said, "The Dewhurst is the plan and hopefully everything will go well in the meantime."

"The agreement (when Godolphin purchased the colt) was I would have him until after the Dewhurst and we would sit down and talk about it after that. Obviously I would be hoping Sheikh Mohammed leaves him with me but if he doesn't I can't complain."

Dawn Approach remains perfect in five career starts. The chestnut colt was bred in Ireland and is out of the Phone Trick mare Hymn of the Dawn.