Dawn Approach primed for red-hot Marois

Jim Bolger is relishing the prospect of pitting his crack miler Dawn Approach against brilliant opposition in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.

Dawn Approach primed for red-hot Marois

In what looks possibly the hottest race of the season, the 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes winner will be meeting the likes of Intello, Moonlight Cloud, Declaration Of War and Elusive Kate.

Dawn Approach is turning out just 11 days after suffering a narrow defeat at the hands of old rival Toronado in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, but Bolger is not one to shirk a challenge.

He said: “I love the competition at the highest level and this is as high as you get, so I’m looking forward to the race.

“Intello and Moonlight Cloud are obviously very good horses.

“I discussed (running at Deauville) with Simon Crisford (Godolphin racing manager), who discussed it with Sheikh Mohammed, and they were very much up for it.

“It wasn’t too difficult a decision (to run), once we knew he was well and had plenty of life in him.

“He shows his well-being very well, so it’s fairly easy to gauge.

“I haven’t had a winner there (at Deauville), but I’ve been there before. Hopefully this will be it.”

Trainer Andre Fabre labelled star colt Intello “exceptional” ahead of the Group One showdown.

The Galileo colt has won five of his six competitive starts to date, and suffered his only defeat when an unlucky third in the French 2,000 Guineas at Longchamp.

Fabre feels his latest stable star may be more effective over a longer distance, but is happy to let him test his powers against the best milers in Europe, such is the faith he has in the three-year-old.

Fabre said: “It is going to be a very interesting race, for sure, but we are looking forward to it.

“I am scared of the two older horses (Moonlight Cloud and Elusive Kate).

“They are in good shape and coming in off very good runs. They both enjoy the straight tracks and they will be difficult to beat.

“I think the two three-year-olds, Intello and Dawn Approach, have shown they are top class and the ratings are very close, I believe.

“I think Intello has the class and ability to be a top-class miler, but he is probably more efficient at a mile and a quarter.

“It is a challenge taking on the best milers, but a challenge we are happy to take.

“There are one or two showers around, but the ground should be good, which should be fine for everyone.”

Fabre believes Intello could yet develop into a realistic challenger for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, a race run over half a mile further than the Marois.

Fabre, who has saddled seven previous Arc winners, said: “We have the Arc in mind, but we will see how he runs in the Marois and how he takes the race.

“To try to win the Marois over a mile and the Arc over a mile and a half is an ambitious plan. It is either ambitious or stupid, we will see.”

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