The local racing fuss on the weekend was mainly about Legislate's return to racing in the Drill Hall Stakes (Gr.2), with the press overlooking the fact that Greyville was also the scene for the KZN versions of both the Colts' and the Fillies' Guineas, with Kenilworth staging the winter version of the same event.
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Dubawi sired his second winner of the Group 1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas in thrilling fashion when Night Of Thunder, racing in the red and white colours of Saeed Manana, flew home to provide trainer Richard Hannon with his first Classic winner since taking over from his father this season.
Dawn Approach wins the QIPCO 2000 Guineas
(Photo : RTE)
“There is good reason for thinking that Dawn Approach
will not be troubled by a mile and a quarter”
It’s that time of the year again, when streams of conjecture from pedigree pundits pondering the stamina limitations of Classic prospects are the order of the day. The debate rages no more furiously anywhere than it does in the United States, primarily as it’s Kentucky Derby time, and since the bulk of American horses are bred for speed, there’s always the question of whether their stamina will stretch the ten furlongs of their most famous race.
Strangely enough, for a country that has an hereditary obsession with these arguments, the British have been uncharacteristically quiet, more likely because most horses in those realms are bred for the Derby trip, and it’s usually their class that makes them effective at anything less than a mile and a half. Indeed, for a country that was once renowned for the lightning elements of the Grey Sovereign, Gold Boss, Golden Cloud, Vilmorin, Abernant and Mummy’s Pet lines, there is a distinct dearth of out-and-out speed in European pedigrees these days. A top sprinter is more likely to be an errant child from a heritage that screams “stamina”, than he is to have been bred for the job, hence the regular decimation by the Australians of the region’s leading exponents of the art of speed in the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr.1) and the Golden Jubilee Sprint (Gr.1) most years at Royal Ascot.
Saturday’s Two Thousand Guineas (Gr.1) hero, Dawn Approach, has woken the gurus from their slumber however, with his imperious 5 length triumph in the 205th running of England’s first Classic, because his pedigree at least suggests there may be a few chinks in his stamina armoury, and hence his appetite for the Derby distance.
Andrew Caulfield who’s been around a long time, and is one of the world’s leading students on the subject, yesterday provided his dissection of Dawn Approach’s prospects of doing so. As usual, he is delightfully insightful. But most of these fellows have a knack of occupying the top of the fence when it comes to putting their reputations on the line, and Andrew’s left us wondering again. So you be the judge!
Jim Bolger’s outstanding record as a trainer has shown time after time that he is not hidebound by convention. If a horse appears to be ready to run, he is happy to run it, even if other trainers would hesitate because of the animal’s bloodlines. This has been highlighted by the records of the five colts which have taken the Dewhurst Stake (Gr.1) for Bolger over the last seven years, as none of them made his debut later than July 16. Parish Hall was out as early as April 10, despite being inbred 3x3 to Sadler’s Wells, and Saturday’s admirable 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach started his career even earlier, on March 25. These early starts also allowed Bolger to give his colts the wealth of experience which often proves so valuable in the top events, with all five racing at least five times at two.
I guess that ungenerous observers might say that some of these colts paid the price for their early exploits, as neither Teofilo (Galileo) nor Parish Hall (Teofilo) was able to race at three and Intense Focus (Giant’s Causeway) ran only twice after his busy first season. However, New Approach proved to be a model Thoroughbred and is now a highly exciting sire, with the unbeaten Dawn Approach leading the way.
Of course the excitement about New Approach started last year, when Dawn Approach’s Coventry Stakes (Gr.2) win was part of an unprecedented stakes treble for a first-crop sire at Royal Ascot, the other victories coming via Thair and the short-lived Newfangled.
While these three proved that New Approach is perfectly capable of siring precocious juveniles, I suspect that they may be exceptions to the rule. No other stakes winners emerged from New Approach’s subsequent 2-year-old runners in 2012, but he notched up his fourth stakes winner when the stoutly bred Talent took the Pretty Polly Stakes (L) two days ago.
As with many a winner of the 2000 Guineas, the question now is whether Dawn Approach has the necessary stamina for the Derby. I might as well admit now that I have my doubts, but I am delighted that Dawn Approach’s connections apparently intend to let him take his chance. Bolger has been an advocate of Equinome’s genetic testing system, designed to evaluate a racehorse’s stamina potential. It seems, though, that he is still prepared to go along with the old trial-and-error process which has stood racing in good stead for hundreds of years.
When Brough Scott interviewed Bolger for Racing Post Sunday in March, Scott explained that the system categorizes a horse’s stamina capabilities, from a TT for middle-distance to a CC for sheer speed. “Galileo was a TT, but he had class,” Bolger explained. “The ideal for a Classic horse is CT. New Approach was a CT, while Dawn Approach is a CC. I trained his dam who had talent, although she got injured, but she was by a sprinter, so the Derby distance is unlikely. But as he settles so well, I would not rule it out entirely.”
It is essential to remember that stamina cannot be accurately assessed without taking temperament into account. A hard-puller is never going to stay as far as expected. Equally, a phlegmatic temperament and a willingness to settle can sometimes allow a horse to stay further than anyone might have predicted. One of the most extreme examples that I can recall was Lord Helpus, a horse trained by Barry Hills nearly 40 years ago. This colt was by Green God, a high-class performer who did all his winning over five or six furlongs. Golden Cloud, the broodmare sire of Lord Helpus, was another specialist sprinter and so were Golden Cloud’s sire Gold Bridge and Vilmorin, sire of Lord Helpus’ very speedy second dam, Poplin. Lord Helpus seemed to be fulfilling his destiny when he showed consistently useful form over sprint distances at two. However, an amenable temperament encouraged Hills to move the colt up in distance at three, when Lord Helpus achieved a Timeform rating of 111 in scoring twice over a mile. The 4-year-old Lord Helpus then showed even further progress, when he achieved his finest victory in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes (Gr.3) over a mile and a half.
Of course the stamina had to come from somewhere, the most obvious sources being Green God’s grandsires Nasrullah and Guersant, both of whom just about stayed a mile and a half. Clearly, this latent stamina eventually proved more potent than the fast blood in Lord Helpus’ pedigree. So will the presence of one very fast horse in Dawn Approach’s pedigree, his broodmare sire Phone Trick, be more influential than the fact that his next three dams are daughters of Pleasant Colony, Alydar and Sea-Bird II?
In case you’ve forgotten, Pleasant Colony won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before siring several high-class performers over a mile and a half, including Colonial Affair (Belmont Stakes G1), Denon (Turf Classic G1) and St Jovite (winner of the G1 Irish Derby and King George for Jim Bolger). Alydar was a fine second in each of Affirmed’s Triple Crown wins, running him to a head in the Belmont Stakes. And the majestic Sea-Bird still has strong claims to being the finest mile-and-a-half horse in living memory.
To get back to Phone Trick, fast horses inevitably predominate among the good winners produced by his daughters, good examples being Zensational, Old Topper and Universal Form. Fortunately for Dawn Approach’s admirers, there are exceptions to the rule, the finest being Unbridled’s daughter Exogenous. With a G1 Kentucky Derby and G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner as her sire, Exogenous stayed well enough to triumph in a pair of Grade 1s over a mile and an eighth and she was also runner-up in Grade 1s over a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half (appearing not to stay the latter distance). Then there’s Eye of the Tiger, a Grade 2 winner over 1 3/16 miles, and Connected, a Grade 3 scorer over 1 1/8 miles.
Therefore, there is good reason for thinking that Dawn Approach will not be troubled by a mile and a quarter, but only the racecourse test will tell us whether he can also excel over the Derby distance. It is worth pointing out that the late great Vincent O’Brien was of the opinion that a mile and a quarter was the optimum distance for some of his English and Irish Derby winners. Sheer class can help eke out a colt’s stamina, and Dawn Approach certainly has that, so I think the idea of putting him to the test in the Derby is the right one, no matter what the result. Dawn Approach’s dam Hymn of the Dawn cost no more than $18,000 as a weanling. She failed to win in five attempts and her dam Colonial Debut also retired winless after eight starts. Even his third dam Kittihawk Miss, won only once in seven starts. Don’t get the wrong idea, though. The 2000 Guineas hero comes from a female line which has achieved a great deal. Colonial Debut’s best effort was her Tale of the Cat colt Galantas, a smart miler who earned the equivalent of over $300,000. Dawn Approach’s fifth dam is Ole Liz, a winner of six of her 12 juvenile starts back in 1965. As a daughter of Double Jay and Islay Mist, Ole Liz was a sister to Bourbon Mist, and both these sisters proved very influential producers.
The Newstead Farm Dispersal in 1985 provided abundant evidence as to Ole Liz’s talents. Her daughter Kittiwake, now the fourth dam of Dawn Approach, realized $3.8 million at the age of 17. Kittiwake’s daughters Larida and Miss Oceana sold for $4million and $7million, respectively. Dawn Approach’s third dam, Kittihawk Miss, was a sister to Miss Oceana, whose record stood at an impressive 11 wins and 6 seconds from 19 starts. Good enough to win five of her six juvenile starts, Miss Oceana progressed to boost her total of Grade 1 wins to five, including one over a mile and an eighth. She also finished third in the CCA Oaks over a mile and a half. Kittiwake was 21 when she foaled the last of her four stakes winners, the Group 1-winning Nureyev colt Kitwood, who stayed a mile and a quarter in France. Kittiwake is also the second dam of Magic of Life, winner of the G1 Coronation Stakes. Ole Liz is also the third dam of Film Maker, a highclass turf filly who scored at up to a mile and a half.
Dawn Approach isn’t the only proof that this female line is still flourishing; other recent Grade 1 winners being Aruna (a Mr. Greeley filly descending from Kittiwake who scored at up to 1 3/8 miles) and Love Theway Youare (2012 Vanity Handicap). Beaconaire, another of Ole Liz’s daughters, produced the high-class filly Sabin, who collected Grade 1 wins in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes and Gamely Handicap. Bourbon Mist’s daughter Fire Water bred the champion filly Life’s Magic, whose wins included the G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and Bourbon Mist is also the third dam of two very different types in Europe, namely Nuclear Debate, a top sprinter, and the stamina-packed Amilynx, twice a winner of the G1 Prix Royal-Oak.
Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News
Watch Dawn Approach winning the QIPCO 2000 Guineas
(Image : CNN - Footage : Racing UK)
QIPCO 2000 GUINEAS (Group 1)
Newmarket, Turf, 1609m
4 May 2013
After a few days that have done much to derail the Godolphin train, one of the operation’s finest buys of recent times Dawn Approach (Ire) (New Approach) sprung to the rescue with a dominant display in Saturday’s Group 1 QIPCO 2,000 Guineas.
Briefly threatened for favoritism in the betting market beforehand and in the race itself by Toronado (Ire) (High Chaparral), the unbeaten Dawn Approach, who had already garnered the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, Group 1 National Stakes and Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, settled the so-called “match” in a matter of strides heading down into Newmarket’s “dip”. Surging away up the rising ground, the 11-8 favorite scored by five lengths from the enterprisingly-ridden 150-1 outsider Glory Awaits (Ire) (Choisir) and in doing so justified his breeder and trainer Jim Bolger’s description of him as “awesome” earlier this spring. More importantly, he was also providing Bolger’s Coolcullen yard with a long-overdue first success in this Classic.
“I didn’t expect him to win by five lengths, but was very impressed and, as you, the press, would say, I am blown away,” the elder Statesman of the Irish training ranks said. “He can only improve from here, as he has been very lazy at home and it has not been easy to get the right amount of work into him and be kind at the same time.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
Toronado (High Chaparral)
(Photo : Sporthorse Data)
QIPCO 2000 GUINEAS (Group 1)
Newmarket, Turf, 1609m
4 May 2013
Dawn Approach (Ire) (New Approach) will face 12 rivals in tomorrow’s Group 1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, with his stable companion Leitir Mor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor) among them.
Jim Bolger has opted to keep that Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes second in the line-up to run alongside his unbeaten champion, who will exit from the six hole, and not wait for the following Sunday’s Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Longchamp.
As expected, Lines of Battle (War Front) was scratched in favor of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and he was the sole withdrawal from the original six-day declarations. His barnmate Cristoforo Colombo (Henrythenavigator) was declared with first-time cheek pieces and is drawn in 11, one inside Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani’s unbeaten Group 3 Craven Stakes scorer Toronado (Ire) (High Chaparral).
David Armstrong and Cheveley Park Stud’sGarswood (GB) (Dutch Art) has drawn eight as he attempts a mile for the first time and he was impressive when capturinga formerly-important Guineas prep in the Listed European Free Handicap over seven furlongs at the track 17 days ago. Trainer Richard Fahey is hoping his demeanor will help his cause when it comes to stamina.
“You are never confident until you have a go at a mile, but he’s a very relaxed horse now,” Fahey commented. “We’ve kept him relaxed this year and he looks like he’ll get it, but we’ll see. He’d go on any ground, but like most trainers we don’t want it extreme - we don’t want it very firm. Other than that, any ground will be okay by me. It’s fantastic for everybody and we’re all excited - it’s great for us to have a live outsider in a Classic.” Tony Hamilton will be having his first ride in a Classic, but Fahey has full confidence in him. “Tony has got great belief in the horse and has ridden him in all his work and has ridden him in all of his races bar one, so it was never in question he would ride him in the Guineas,” he added.
Ground conditions ahead of the Classic were described as good-to-firm, good in places and Clerk of the Course, Michael Prosser said, “The track walks extremely even and I am very happy with that. We will stick with putting the stalls in the middle for the Guineas. The 2000 Guineas has a cracking feel to it, but there is real depth there too.”
QIPCO 2000 Gunieas
Exceed and Excel
DONT BOTHER ME
Sir Henry Cecil
Holy Roman Emperor
VAN DER NEER
Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News
Click above to watch Camelot winning the QIPCO 2000 Guineas…
(Image : BBC - Footage : Videos Replay)
QIPCO 2000 GUINEAS (G1)
Newmarket, Turf, 1600m
5 May 2012
Sent off the 15-8 favorite, Derrick Smith’s unbeaten Camelot (GB)(Montjeu) duly delivered to provide his late sire with a first mile Classic win after a pulsating climax to yesterday’s G1 Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. Settled off the pace racing among the group towards the stand’s side, the G1 Racing Post Trophy hero sliced between rivals to lead with 150 yards remaining and held off French Fifteen (Fr) (Turtle Bowl) to score by a neck, with another French raider Hermival (Ire) (Dubawi) 2 1/4 lengths back in third.
“He has a lot of class and speed and I was always happy,” commented jockey Joseph O’Brien after showing panache beyond his years when steering his first English Classic winner. “He was nice and relaxed and, although I didn’t get the best of runs through and was very far back, I always felt like I was getting there. He might have got a bit tired in the last 100 yards, but it was his first start of the season, and he will be a lot better going further.”
“We knew that Camelot had a lot against him statistically, but we always thought he was very special,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said after greeting his sixth winner of the Classic. “He’s out of a Kingmambo mare who is out of a Danehill mare and has strong crosses of both of those in him as well as Montjeu, so that’s why we were worried about the soft ground. I had a view of what Joseph should do on him, as I was worried about him riding a horse for pace like that in that ground, but I’m glad I didn’t say anything now. He said he’d be closer to last than first at halfway and I’m glad I bit my tongue. I felt I destroyed St Nicholas Abbey in this race two years ago, and it’s only now that he’s starting to get his brilliance back, so I learnt a lot from that. The way it always is we go home and the lads will speak about it, but the Derby will be something to talk about. You’d imagine, the Derby would be a very suitable race for him.”
Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News
Click above to watch a preview of the
2012 QIPCO 2000 Guineas with Lydia Hislop and Steve Mellish
(Image and Footage : Racing UK)
QIPCO 2000 GUINEAS (G1)
Newmarket, 5 May 2012
Thoroughbred Daily NewsBy about 10:30 in the morning this Saturday (US), the day of the G1 Kentucky Derby, the first Group 1 European Classic of the season, the G1 English 2000 Guineas, will have been run at Newmarket. You’d be forgiven for not having really known much about it. The European champion 2-year-old of 2011, Coolmore’s 8-5 favorite Camelot (Montjeu), hasn’t run this year. That’s not unusual, but what is unusual is that the ground in Europe has been soft for virtually the entire month of April. It’s going to dry out and warm up this week (thankfully), but when that happens you’re really guessing. Montjeu is a Derby sire, not a Guineas sire, and the G1 Racing Post Trophy, which Camelot won in his second and final start last year, is a Derby trial, not a Guineas trial. Camelot is no doubt a really good colt, but his price reflects as much a lack of knowledge or conviction about the competition as it does his actual chances of winning the race.
No other colt was trading at under 10-1 on Betfair on Tuesday morning, which shows you how little confidence there is in what might win if the favorite doesn’t. Second choice yesterday, at 10-1, was Born To Sea, the John Oxx-trained Invincible Spirit half-brother to Sea The Stars. He broke his maiden impressively in a six-furlong listed race in September, but then ran second in the G3 Killavullan Stakes to Nephrite, a Pivotal colt trained by Aidan O’Brien who flopped in his first start this year.
Five horses yesterday were bracketed between 12-1 and 14-1 on Betfair. Co-third favorites at 12-1 were: Trumpet Major (Arakan), impressive winner of the G3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket’s opening meeting a couple of weeks ago; Prince Khalid Abdullah’sTop Offer, a Dansili colt trained by Roger Charlton who won a seven-furlong maiden race in August impressively, but missed an intended warm-up in the G3 Greenham Stakes because of the soft ground; and Abtaal (Rock Hard Ten), trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for Sheikh Hamdan, and who ran second earlier this month in the G3 Prix Djebel at Maisons-Lafitte.
In fact, very unusually, the first three from the Djebel are running at Newmarket, and the Djebel winner, French Fifteen, from the first crop by the good French miler Turtle Bowl (a son of the obscure Night Shift horse Dyhim Diamond), would therefore have to qualify as pretty good value at 13-1.
Last year’s G1 Dewhurst Stakes, usually the top 2-year-old race in Europe, was one of those messy events in which the first five finished within two lengths of each other. Trumpet Major was fifth that day, but is a shorter price in the betting than the horses which were one-two, but which haven’t had a run this year. The Dewhurst second, Power (Oasis Dream), who won the G2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and the G1 National Stakes in Ireland, is presumably the Coolmore second string (danger!), at around 14-1. Parish Hill, the Dewhurst winner from the first crop by Teofilo, trained, like his sire, by Jim Bolger, is at 20-1. Parish Hall, by the way, is out of a Montjeu mare, so inbred 3x3 to Sadler’s Wells!
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
St Nicholas Abbey, Lookin At Lucky and Pierre Jourdan
(Photo : Zoot/Racing Life/JC Photos)
THE KENTUCKY DERBY, THE 2000 GUINEAS
AND THE SOUTH AFRICAN DERBY
The postponement last weekend of the South African Derby to Saturday, has meant that we’re not the only ones staging a Triple Crown event this weekend. The difference is, Pierre Jourdan’s tilt at our Derby includes a shot at the final leg of the Triple Crown, whilst those horses across the seas are only commencing theirs.
The Kentucky Derby, over ten furlongs under the twin spires of Churchill Downs, has been robbed at the last moment of one of its most legitimate Triple Crown aspirants of the past few decades in Eskendereya, a towering son of Giant’s Causeway, who’s blazed a trail of daylight destruction on his way to Louisville. By “daylight”, we mean the extent of his winning margins, and while no-one can quite fathom what he’s had behind him in the way of opposition, his Beyer figures tell us he’s among the best contenders in the past few decades. Eskendereya’s soft tissue injury elevates Lookin At Lucky(by Strike Smartly), last season’s Champion Juvenile in the US, to the top of the board. As a son of Strike Smartly, you would expect the trip to be no trouble for him, which begs the question, who and what will he have to beat.
It would seem, on paper at least, the most legitimate contender is Sydney’s Candy, who “end-to-ended” his field in an impressive victory in Santa Anita Derby (Gr.1) over nine furlongs. There are few horses though, who can lead start to finish over the extra furlong of the Kentucky Derby, particularly when you bring to the equation the best of the American classic crop. So unless the form is turned upside down, it looks like fate has dealt Lookin At Lucky a very kind hand.
Across the “pond” at UK racing’s headquarters in Newmarket, the first of the season’s classics, the StanJames.com 2000 Guineas, takes place over the straight mile of the Guineas course. Here matters appear to be a little more clear cut, with last season’s stand-out juvenile St Nicholas Abbey (by Montjeu) heading the programme at 4-5 on, despite making his seasonal debut. Without the benefit of a prior run though, there’s always the possibility of a lack of experience or the shortage of a trial, to throw a spanner in the works.
Unlikely as that may be, since Aidan O’Brien knows what he’s up to, (having won the Guineas countless times before,) it does seem that his one serious opponent is Elusive Pimpernel (by Elusive Quality), runner-up to the favourite in last season’s Racing Post Trophy (Gr.1), and who couldn’t have been more impressive when taking the laurels in the Greenham Stakes (Gr.2) a fortnight ago.
Long before these races are scheduled to be run, we’ll know whether Pierre Jourdan’s crack at a Triple Crown for the first time since Horse Chestnut, will have manifested itself in the greater glory which accompanies the immortal, or in the sort of anti-climax that characterizes these things when they go awry. One thing we do know though, is that “PJ” has breathed new life into the game, providing racing operators with a matchless marketing opportunity, not to mention the unprecedented publicity South Africa’s Olympic body, SASCOC, and the makers of Pierre Jourdan champagne, have gleaned from his escapades.
On class, he seems unopposed, so the only questions which remain to be answered are those around his well-being, and whether or not he’ll get the trip. We have to take the former on trust, while there’s been enough written about his prospects of seeing out the distance for readers to formulate their own ideas.
Perhaps the biggest clue comes from the many repeats we’ve seen on television of the way he moves. Every panther would be proud to possess his action, and it may be his economy of movement that has him running to the line, as well as, if not better than, any of his previous efforts.