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Series stars to stud: Dawn Approach

6 Dec 2013

In our latest edition of Series stars to stud, we focus on the QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach.

Dawn Approach on his way down to the start of the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Image copyright of

After winning two Group 1 races and the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot as a two-year-old, Dawn Approach was always destined to become a QIPCO British Champions Series superstar.

The Jim Bolger-trained colt was bought by Godolphin in June 2012, with the hope that he could bring Sheikh Mohammed’s racing operation a first QIPCO 2000 Guineas victory since Island Sands in 1999 and a first-ever Investec Derby triumph.

In May, on his seasonal reappearance, Dawn Approach provided His Royal Highness with a much-desired win in the Newmarket British Classic, after defeating his rivals with aplomb.

The son of New Approach was a five-length victor over Kevin Ryan’s Glory Awaits, with the horse that would be synonymously rivalled with him throughout the rest of the campaign, Toronado, back in fourth.

However, a tilt at the Investec Derby did not work out the way as expected.

With Dawn Approach the favourite, the inability to settle early on prevented him and his rider, Kevin Manning, from claiming a first Derby win for Godolphin. Ruler of The World, trained by Aidan O’Brien for rival owners Coolmore, went on to win.

All was not lost, though.

Seventeen days after the failure at Epsom saw enough time for Dawn Approach to recover for a chance to reclaim Group 1 glory at Royal Ascot.

A distance of a short-head was all that mattered in the St James’s Palace Stakes, as Dawn Approach reaffirmed his quality in the Mile division by beating Toronado.

But, in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, Toronado would get his revenge on his adversary.

With the pair neck-and-neck heading into the final furlong, Richard Hughes’s mount would narrowly go on to defeat the Classic champion by half a length, taking the title of the world’s highest-rated three-year-old in training.

Dawn Approach would go on to run twice more before retiring. He finished fifth in the Prix Jacques le Marois and then majorly disappointed connections when finishing fourth in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.

Nonetheless, despite a sour end to his career, he heads to stud a Champion Series star and a Classic champion that will live long in the memory.

Dawn Approach is set to stand alongside his father New Approach, British Champions Day hero Farhh and the super sire Dubawi.