Ascot date for Dawn Approach

Dawn Approach will head to Royal Ascot in two weeks, for either the Coventry Stakes or Chesham Stakes, with an untarnished record, following his 4/9 success in the listed Alfred Nobel Rochestown Stakes at Naas yesterday.

Successful at the Curragh on the opening day of the season and over this course and distance last month, the New Approach colt became involved in a battle for the first time in this listed event as he matched the early speed of the Richard Hannon-trained Mister Marc before getting involved in a battle and, ultimately, forging clear inside the final furlong to triumph by two and three-quarter lengths.

His trainer, Jim Bolger, commented: “The trip doesn’t really matter to him and, like most horses, he’d prefer better ground, although he’s fairly versatile ground-wise.

“Kevin said they went five furlong pace all the way, that it was a fierce pace, but that he stuck at it well. He has a great temperament. And I think he'll be at his best on really good ground.

“He’ll go to Ascot now, for either the Coventry or the Chesham - we have the choice.”

Paddy Power reacted to Dawn Approach’s win by cutting him to 14/1 (from 20) for the 2013 Qipco English 2,000 Guineas.

Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes, pleased by Mister Marc’s run, enjoyed better luck when well-backed favourite Sky Lantern (2/1 to 11/8) got the better of True Verdict by a half-length in the listed Coolmore Stud Sprint Stakes for two-year-old fillies.

Richard Hannon Jnr explained, “She’s a lovely filly. And I was very impressed with the way she did it. We’ll enter her for the Albany (at Royal Ascot) and see what happens.”

The Ger Lyons-trained One Spirit proved that her recent second to Group 1-winner Emulous in a Group 3 at the Curragh was no fluke when landing the listed Owenstown Stud Stakes..

Always prominent under Niall McCullagh, One Spirit edged ahead with less than two furlongs to race and kept going well to hold Gordon Lord Byron by a length.

Lyons completed a double when Emmet McNamara partnered top -weight Dark Passion to a cosy length and a half win over Crimson Sunrise in the Paul Byrne Memorial Handicap.

In double form at Listowel on Sunday, Shane ‘Dusty’ Foley was on the mark again on board the Ken Condon-trained Bold Thady Quill, which held Jamesie by a half-length in the thetote.com BBQ Evenings Handicap.

Brendan Duke, who struck twice with hurdler Mister Benedictine in the last week, was on the mark again when debutante I’m Shekira, ridden by Rory Cleary, beat well-backed, Aidan O'Brien-trained favourite Reaching by a nose in the opening fillies maiden.

* Jim Bolger has warned his sidelined Classic hope Parish Hall will not be ready for an engagement at Royal Ascot.

The trainer had issued bullish reports about last year’s Dewhurst Stakes winner and had intended to run him in both the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas and last weekend’s Investec Derby, but had to withdraw him on the morning of the former due to a leg infection.

Parish Hall is engaged in the St James’s Palace Stakes on June 19, but Bolger said: “I had to enter him at Ascot, but he won’t make it. He has a small wound where the infection broke out and it will take a bit of time.”

Bolger’s candidate for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, the Derrinstown trial winner Light Heavy, was confirmed by his handler to be “in good shape”.

* Reigning Gold Cup winner Fame And Glory could have a pre-Ascot showdown with Saddler’s Rock after the pair both featured among the entries for Friday night’s Seamus/Rosemary McGrath Memorial Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown.

Aidan O’Brien’s stayer looks to be taking exactly the same path as last year through the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan and this Listed event, but he could have strong opposition.

Dermot Weld’s Unaccompanied, who was only just beaten in the Vintage Crop, could be back for another shot while John Oxx representative Saddler’s Rock looked a potential threat in the division last year when winning the Doncaster Cup, but has not been seen since last September.

Weld has also entered Sense Of Purpose while there are three possible runners from Britain. Two of these, Eternal Heart and Gulf Of Naples, are from the Mark Johnston yard, while All My Heart was very progressive for Mark Prescott last term.

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