05/04/2013 1:16PM

Newmarket: Dawn Approach dominant in 2000 Guineas


Dawn Approach began his 3-year-old season Saturday at Newmarket in the Group 1 English 2000 Guineas the same way he blasted through his 2-year-old campaign, looking like a dominant member of his generation. Dawn Approach was pitted for the first time against Toronado, another unbeaten colt, but Toronado fizzled, coming home meekly for fourth as Dawn Approach ran his record to 7 for 7 with a five-length victory over longshot Glory Awaits.

Dawn Approach gave Godolphin a third Guineas winner less than two weeks after Sheikh Mohammed’s operation was rocked by a steroids scandal in the training yard of Mahmood al Zarooni. Dawn Approach, however, resides nowhere near the trouble: The colt is based in Ireland with trainer Jim Bolger and was purchased privately by Godolphin last year.

Bolger won his first English 2000 Guineas, as did jockey Kevin Manning who kept Dawn Approach in a tracking spot as stablemate Leitir Mor set the pace in front of the field’s main body, with Glory Awaits on the front end while racing alone on the far side of Newmarket’s straight course. Toronado and Dawn Approach inched forward as a team from about the halfway point of the one-mile Guineas, but as Dawn Approach steadily closed on the leaders, Toronado could not go with him. Pushing strongly through the Guineas’ uphill closing section, Dawn Approach left his rivals behind stride by stride in the final furlong and ran alone past the finish, winning – as he has done in all but one race – by open lengths. Toronado gave way late, as Glory Awaits stayed on well and Van Der Neer, Toronado’s longer-priced stablemate, rallied for third.

Winning time over a course rated good-to-firm was 1:35.84, the quickest since 2007, and Dawn Approach, a son of New Approach, now has won three Group 1’s by more than 12 combined lengths. Unbeaten and for the most part untested, Dawn Approach could more comfortably be called a superstar were the horses just behind him Saturday more accomplished, but Glory Awaits, the runner-up, is a one-time winner in nine starts whose previous high-water mark was a fourth in a Group 3.

Dawn Approach raced as far as one mile for the first time Saturday, and his connections have not yet committed to the 1 1/2-mile Epsom Derby, but he seems likely to run, and if Dawn Approach wins the Derby, too, it will be difficult to avoid terming him a superstar.Camelot starts season

Meanwhile, the 2012 Epsom Derby winner, Camelot, makes his 4-year-old debut Monday at The Curragh in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes. Trained by Aidan O’Brien, who also has El Salvador, Ernest Hemingway, and Triumphant in the 1 1/4-mile race, Camelot makes his first start since finishing seventh last fall in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Camelot, who finished second in the St. Leger Stakes bidding for an English Triple Crown last year, had colic surgery not long after the Arc. He has won five of his seven career starts and should be heavily favored to capture another Monday.