New Approach held off 50-1 shot Traffic Guard to take the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) by a half-length. Earlier in the day, Lush Lashes powered her way to her third group I victory in the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes (Ire-I).
New Approach Redeems Himself in Champion
New Approach entered the Irish Champion looking to rebound from a third place effort to Duke of Marmalade in the Juddmonte International (Eng-I). The Irish Champion was expected to be a rematch of those two, but with the heavy rains received all week and the subsequent yielding turf, trainer Aidan O’Brien decided to withdraw his star 4-year-old early Sunday morning.
A field of eight went to the post, with New Approach sent off the heavy favorite. Kept close to the lead by jockey Kevin Manning, New Approach stalked the early pacesetter, Red Rock Canyon, who set a brisk pace on the front end.
As the horses turned for home, New Approach made his move and took command with two furlongs left. Manning kept the chestnut colt under a steady drive and the pair was able to withstand the late challenge of Traffic Guard.
Mores Wells rallied to grab third over Multidimensional, 1 1/4-lengths behind Traffic Guard. Final time for the ten furlongs was 2:07.57 over the yielding turf.
Jim Bolger was pleased with his colt’s performance, telling reporters, “On his previous run at Newmarket he was a bit too keen because we had to rush a lot of quick work into him in a short space of time.”
Bolger continued, “There was not really enough pace today, and once again we probably overdid the settling. He was only doing what he had to do, and Kevin confirmed that he had bundles in the tank.”
Looking to the future, Bolger added, “He’s in the Arc and the (Emirates Airlines) Champion Stakes, and Sheikh Mohammed is keen to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I).”
New Approach is the last foal out the Ahonoora mare, Park Express. A champion at both two and three, Park Express captured the Phoenix Champion Stakes (Ire-I) in 1986 for Jim Bolger.
Lush Lashes Captures Matron Stakes
Lush Lashes secured her third group I victory with a gutsy win over Nahoodh and Halfway To Heaven in the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes (Ire-I).
Tracking the early pace set by Lady Gloria, Lush Lashes seized command entering the home straight and was under an all-out drive by Kevin Manning to hold off Nahoodh and Halfway To Heaven. The final margin of victory was a neck, with Halfway To Heaven just a half-length further back.
Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:40.73.
There are several possible races remaining for the daughter of Galileo. Bolger told reporters, “There’s the Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket, the Prix de l’Opera (Fr-I) at Longchamp, and the Hong Kong Cup (HK-I). The Breeders’ Cup is also a possibility.”