New Approach enhanced his already sterling reputation with a hard-fought victory over Fast Company in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket Oct. 20. The win kept the Jim Bolger-trained colt undefeated in five career starts, making him the unequivocal leader of the 2-year-old division in Europe.
The connections of New Approach didn’t make the decision to run their colt in the Dewhurst until just 10 days ago. It had been thought that the son of Galileo had done enough for the season after his impressive victory in the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) National Stakes (Ire-I) Sept. 16.
As a result, New Approach wasn’t trained as rigorously as he had been for his prior races, and it almost cost him the win. Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning had been working on getting the headstrong colt to relax during his works, teaching him to settle off the pace.
The calming efforts almost worked too well, as New Approach settled comfortably in mid-pack under Manning as Dark Angel and Luck Money battled it out on the front end. Raven’s Pass, another colt who entered the Dewhurst undefeated, raced just behind the leaders and was followed closely by New Approach and Rio De La Plata.
Manning began to go to work on his mount early in the race, with more than four furlongs left to run. Dark Angel and Luck Money continued to duel for the lead, as both Raven’s Pass and New Approach began to make their moves.
Raven’s Pass was the first to prevail, getting to the front with two furlongs left. New Approach was under a strong drive, and the chestnut took the lead inside the final furlong. Fast Company, who had been held up at the rear of the field after a poor break, came flying on the outside, but New Approach found more and held him off to win by a half-length.
Raven’s Pass easily held third, 2 ½ lengths behind the top pair. Time for the seven furlongs was 1:25.29 over the good to soft turf.
Bolger, who’s Teofilo captured this event last year, became the first trainer to win successive runnings of the Dewhurst since the legendary Vincent O’Brien struck with Monteverdi and Storm Bird in 1979 and 1980.
When asked to compare the striking chestnut to last year’s champion, Teofilo, Kevin Manning replied, “It is very unfair to compare, and I wouldn’t like to be drawn into it—they are two very, very classy horses.”
Jim Bolger’s only comment when asked the same question was, “I didn’t hear that!”
New Approach is out of Park Express, who was a champion in both England and Ireland. He is a half-brother to stakes winners Shinko Forest and Dazzling Park. He is owned in partnership by Jackie Bolger and Sheikh Mohammed.