Approach hammers rivals at the Curragh
Report: The Curragh, Saturday
Goffs Vincent O'BrienStakes (Registered as the National Stakes) (Group 1) 2yo, 7f
DAWN APPROACH gave probably the most impressive demonstration of his Qipco 2,000 Guineas credentials yet as he blitzed to victory in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien Stakes at the Curragh.
The New Approach colt, making his first appearance since his purchase by Godolphin but still trained by Jim Bolger, was cut to 7-1 (from 10) by William Hill for the Newmarket Classic, while Boylesports went just 4-1.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Flying The Flag set off at a blistering pace under Seamie Heffernan, going several lengths clear of the chasing field headed by Dawn Approach’s stablemate Leitir Mor.
Such was Flying The Flag’s electric early pace that there was a moment of doubt as Kevin Manning in the Godolphin blue scrubbed the 2-5 favourite along to close the leader.
He responded in style, however, rapidly overhauling the tiring pacesetter and striding into the lead at the furlong pole, before pulling effortlessly clear to the line.
Bolger said: “I was very impressed watching it but I was even more impressed with what Kevin said after the race. He felt during the race that they might have been going a step too fast, but when it came to the second last furlong and he had to press the button he just flew.”
Dawn Approach, who had been off since winning the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, could next head to Newmarket’s Dubai Dewhurst – a “happy hunting ground for us”, said Bolger – on October 13.
“You’re always worried when a horse has a break and I think that he will come on from this,” added Bolger, who said a decision about who trains the colt next season will be taken at the end of the year.
Designs On Rome, a 28-1 outsider, made good late progress to take second and trainer Pat Flynn said: “I said before that he was the best horse I’ve ever trained and I still stand by that.
“The winner is some horse but we’ll be there to take him on next year in all the big races as I think he’ll do nothing but improve from two to three.”