x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Dawn Approach brings Dubai party joy at Newmarket

Jockey Kevin Manning guides chestnut colt to sixth straight victory as Godolphin horse wins Dewhurst Stakes.

The jockey Kevin Manning rode to his fifth victory in seven years. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
The jockey Kevin Manning rode to his fifth victory in seven years. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

NEWMARKET, England // Dawn Approach rewarded Dubai for its sponsorship of the entire card at Newmarket Racecourse today by carrying the royal blue silks of Godolphin to victory in the Dewhurst Stakes.

Everywhere you looked around the Rowley Mile there was a reference to the emirate and the image of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid handing the winner's trophy to his brother, Sheikh Mohammed, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is an enduring one.

Almost as if to tee up Dawn Approach's success, Fullbright, owned by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed, won the opening Group 2 contest.

"It is a great day for us and I am very happy," Sheikh Mohammed, who bought a controlling interest in Dawn Approach in June after the colt's victory at Royal Ascot, said.

"I was impressed with him when he won his maiden and thought he was a good horse. But I could have been wrong. We have been lucky."

Dawn Approach looked to be overwhelmingly superior to his five rivals going into the race, having won all five of his career starts.

It has been a long season, however, and after starting his career back in March the white-faced chestnut colt needed to prove he could still hold his form.

Kevin Manning, his regular partner, looked as calm as ever as he was carried into Newmarket's famous downhill section two furlongs from home. As Dawn Approach had to adjust he looked as if he would fail to pick up, however, and with Joseph O'Brien flying down the outside on George Vancouver it appeared that the unthinkable was about to unfold.

Manning angled out his mount from behind Leitir Mor, the pacemaker and stablemate, and as the pair hit the rising ground a furlong from the winning post Dawn Approach skipped clear to put the race to bed.

Dawn Approach was following in the hoofprints of his father, New Approach, who won the Group 1 contest in 2007 before being narrowly denied in the following season's 2000 Guineas in the silks of Princess Haya.

It is a path that Dawn Approach will continue to follow and the Sheikh revealed a new policy that will see the winner remain with trainer Jim Bolger next season.

"Good horses always find something," Sheikh Mohammed added. "We hope he will be back here next year, Inshallah. Yes [he stays with Bolger] Sometimes we change, you know."

It was the fifth victory in seven years for Manning, who is Bolger's son-in-law and although Bolger did not want to be drawn in to direct comparisons he believed Dawn Approach could go right to the top.

"He's very straightforward and has all the ability that his old man had," Bolger said.

"My previous four Dewhurst winners were pretty smart but this one is right up there with them.

"He's capable of ruling the roost."

Earlier in the day Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa's Moohaajim was just denied by Reckless Abandon in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.

Moohaajim came with a late run but Reckless Abandon pulled out more to win by a neck.


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