Bolger taking calm approach with Dawn

Jim Bolger maintains Dawn Approach is “on a par” with the best horses he has ever trained ahead of the colt’s bid for Classic glory in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday week.

A son of Bolger’s 2008 Epsom Derby hero New Approach, the strapping chestnut enjoyed a fantastic juvenile campaign, winning each of his six starts.

Snapped up by Godolphin after winning the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, Dawn Approach went on to claim Group One honours in the National Stakes at the Curragh and the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, ensuring his place as winter favourite for the first Classic of the 2013 season.

His price has continued to contract in recent weeks and he is now as short as even-money to get the job done on the Rowley Mile on May 4.

Dawn Approach worked over seven furlongs at Beechy Park yesterday in company with stable companion Light Heavy. Bolger said afterwards: “He’s a very clear-winded horse and his only downside is that he’s lazy.

“He hasn’t grown over the winter, but he is a big horse – he’s 16.1 (hands) and he’s about eight kilos heavier now than he was at Newmarket for the Dewhurst, but we’ll probably give back two of those before the Guineas.

“I’m very happy with his development and he’s much stronger this year. He’s probably more rounded in shape than his sire, but his sire was harder on himself.

“He’ll do another bit of home work on Friday or Saturday, we’ll see how he comes out of today’s piece first, and another bit next Tuesday.

Bolger admits that while he ideally would have liked to run Dawn Approach before the Guineas, he felt conditions at home were too testing and decided against running in one of the British trials.

He said: “It probably would have been nice to get a run into him in Ireland, but we didn’t have the ground and I was not that keen to travel (to England) before the Guineas.

“I’m not sure whether I’m right or not, but that’s what I decided to do.”

Given Dawn Approach’s outstanding juvenile form, there could always be a chance that some of his counterparts are open to more progress but Bolger is unconcerned.

“Others may catch up, but it won’t be because he didn’t improve from two to three. I expect improvement as he’s got very strong and has maintained his action,” said the trainer.

“He’s on a par with the best horses I’ve had, but I won’t know for certain until he runs because he’s so laid back.”

As well as being the red-hot favourite for the Guineas, Dawn Approach is also prominent in ante-post lists for the Derby, but Bolger is keen to get Newmarket out of the way before looking any further ahead.

He said: “We’ll see how he gets on in the Guineas before thinking about the Derby.

“He goes on just about any ground. A mile suits him very well and we’ll have to see after that.

“He switches off so well, it’s possible he could get a mile and a half. He’s a very well balanced horse, but because of his pedigree, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

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