Jim Bolger is convinced Dawn Approach will go to the Investec Derby an even better horse than he was when winning the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
The Coolcullen trainer has been delighted with the unbeaten colt since the Newmarket Classic and he knows what it takes to win the premier Classic having saddled the unbeaten colt’s sire New Approach to land the Epsom showpiece in 2008.
“I’m very happy with him. He has come out of the Guineas very well. His performance in the Guineas was spectacular, I think that’s recognised by everybody,” said Bolger.
“He has been thriving ever since. I’d say he’s eating a little more than he was before the Guineas, so he’s come out of it really well, and I’ve no doubt he has improved.
“Kevin (Manning) and I know every blade of grass at Epsom at this stage. We’ve walked the track umpteen times and we’re happy enough about that.
“As regards to the competition, I wish them all well, I respect each and every one of them and I would not be losing any sleep over who turns up.”
Bolger was speaking via a telephone link at the annual ’Breakfast with the Stars’ morning at the Surrey venue ahead of the Derby and Oaks next week.
The main news was Michael Stoute’s announcement that Telescope will miss the race because of a sore shin.
The Galileo colt had a racecourse gallop at Lingfield on Wednesday, in which he was described as only “workmanlike” by the Newmarket handler.
“He has eaten up and he’s sound but he has a bit of soreness on a left shin,” said Stoute.
“I don’t think he will be going to Epsom. He has had hold-ups here and there and hasn’t been giving us the right signs.”
Asked if he was definitely out of the Derby, Stoute said: “He’s not going to run.”
In more positive developments, French hope Ocovango enjoyed a nice breeze round the track.
The Andre Fabre-trained colt engaged in some pleasing work over the Derby trip and drew readily clear of his lead horse.
“They went quite quietly, the idea was to just show him the bend and the downhill trip,” said Fabre.
“It was not a serious workout but he was moving well and it was useful.”
The Monsun colt is unbeaten in three starts and won the Group Two Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud earlier this month, a race Pour Moi claimed for Fabre before going on to Epsom glory in 2011.
Champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien will rely upon Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner Battle Of Marengo and Mars as he bids to win the Derby for a fourth time.
The Ballydoyle handler said his son, Joseph, was “short enough odds” to ride Battle Of Marengo in the Derby, and confirmed only 2000 Guineas sixth Mars alongside him, with plans to be made for his other possible runners.
“It’s all a little bit up in the air at the moment, but they are all in good shape so far,” he said.
“Obviously Battle Of Marengo was always going to stay home for the two trials and the other horses were going to go for the trials elsewhere.
“We said after Newmarket that Mars would go for the Derby and he probably will end up going there as well. Obviously we have Ruler Of The World and Magician, and there are a few other options apart from that.
“We’ll probably get towards the end of the week when they are doing their work, but they’ve all been together and done their half-speeds
“Joseph has always ridden Battle Of Marengo, I think he’s probably short enough odds to ride him. Mars will go if everything else goes well with him between now and then. Whatever else goes, we’re not 100% sure.”
There could be a rare German raider with Andreas Wohler planning to add Chopin to the field at the supplementary stage.
The Santiago colt was recently purchased by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani after a stylish win on his reappearance at Krefeld last month.
“The horse will do a piece of work on Sunday, and if it goes well, he’ll be supplemented for the Derby on Monday,” said Wohler.
“The trip wouldn’t worry me, he wants much further than his last race. The faster they go, the better.
“It’s the Derby of the Derbies. It’s a very exciting thing for German racing.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved