Just 10 days after Sheikh Mohammed’s racing operation Godolphin was plunged into crisis after 11 horses trained for him by Mahmood al Zarooni tested positive for anabolic steroids, his Dawn Approach won the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger — for whom this was a first success in the race and who also trained the colt’s sire New Approach — the powerful, white-faced chestnut was an impressive five-length winner of the first Classic of the season. After six unbeaten starts as a two-year-old, this was his first race of the 2013 campaign.
The 11-8 favourite sailed along in the slip-stream of his pacemaker Leitir Mor, who set a strong pace, before moving easily to the front alongside the second favourite, Toronado. But the Richard Hannon-trained Toronado looked to struggle in the final furlong and a half and Dawn Approach drew away comfortably.
Jockey Kevin Manning said: “He’s a very special horse. He travelled very well and when I asked him to quicken, he’s picked up and gone.”
Dawn Approach is now favourite for the Investec Derby at Epsom in a month’s time.
Second was the Kevin Ryan-trained Glory Awaits, a son of the sprinter Choisir, at a massive 150-1 under Jamie Spencer.
Van Der Neer (William Buick) was third, ahead of his Hannon stable-mate Toronado in fourth.