Darley’s Approach strikes gold at Ascot

Royal Ascot cemented its place as one of the world’s great meetings on opening day on Tuesday when one of the many highlights was unquestionably Dawn Approach regaining his pedestal in the group 1 St James’ Palace Stakes as Europe’s champion three-year-old.
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The son of Darley’s New Approach failed in the Epsom Derby, refusing to relax in the run, and Jim Bolger’s turnaround to fit him for the St James’ was a training triumph. A year earlier, New Approach sired a Royal Ascot hat-trick of juvenile winners from his first crop, including Dawn Approach, which was a huge kick-start for his career in both hemispheres.

Dawn Approach’s win in the metric mile on Tuesday was not a walk in the park as he had to work hard throughout and suffered interference at a crucial stage. He was able to overcome those to score narrowly and his stud career with Darley is a formality, as it is almost impossible to get a service to New Approach. The St James’ Palace win took New Approach’s progeny earnings to £1,182,803 ($2 million) this season, second only to his illustrious father Galileo, which has a figure almost double at £2,053,103.

Godolphin bought New Approach from Bolger, who bred the chestnut, and has a half stake in Dawn Approach. It was hardly surprising that during Royal Ascot week Godolphin announced the purchase of another New Approach three-year-old in Epsom Derby runner-up Libertarian.

The latter will have his first run in the all-blue Godolphin silks in the Irish Derby at The Curragh on June 29.

Other notable achievements from day one at Royal Ascot were:

❏ Aidan O’Brien’s double with Declaration Of War (Queen Anne) and War Command’s six-length Coventry Stakes success to take his overall tally of Royal Ascot wins to 39. He had another win on Wednesday to give him 40.

❏ A double by jockey John Murtagh took his Ascot winners to 41.

❏ A double to US sire War Front after O’Brien’s two successes above, both bred by Florida’s Joseph Allen, who sold shares in both horses to Coolmore.

❏ War Front is a son of sire of sires Danzig and stands at the famous Claiborne Stud in Kentucky for $US80,000 ($86,000). His recent claim to fame is that Zenyatta has just tested in foal to him.

Declaration of War’s group 1 success in the Queen Anne will probably result in the galloper heading Down Under to stand at Coolmore’s Hunter Valley base next year.

Unfortunately for the John Messara-Arrowfield group, there was little joy surrounding Animal Kingdom’s failure in the Queen Anne. However, the defeat should not detract greatly from his stud career, which begins in September. Animal Kingdom’s form had been superb and he would be a welcome addition to any stud throughout the world. Arrowfield recently bought him in the US.

Day two at Royal Ascot featured Cox Plate invitee Al Kazeem, a son of Darley sire Dubawi, winning the group 1 Prince of Wales’ Stakes (about 2000 metres) in an amazing effort after conceding a five-length start at the furlong peg (200m).

Al Kazeem scored his third win from as many starts this year and it was his second group 1 success. The jockey was James Doyle, who landed his first winner at Royal Ascot, made it a hat-trick during the afternoon in the most memorable racing day of his career.

There are several big races on the home front for Al Kazeem and it’s unlikely that he will come here.Broodmare injection

On the local front, Darley has revealed it has 21 racemare retirees making their stud debuts later this year. Each season Darley culls several older mares to make way for a an array of its beautifully bred three- and four-year-olds, which will be mated with top stallions. Peter Snowden will bid farewell to Lonhro’s sister Shannara after she contests Saturday’s group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm. Shannara’s earnings going into the race are $423,000 and she meets a fabulous field of fillies and mares in her swansong run. Detours is another off to the breeding barn and goes out a winner after her June 1 success in black-type company at Eagle Farm, which followed her Silk Stocking win on the Gold Coast. She won $451,000. Raspberries, a daughter of Lonhro, won more than $530,000 from seven wins and six placings in 28 starts. Altar ($375,000), Anise ($294,000), Classics ($248,000), Meidung ($253,000) and Quidnunc ($305,000) were other great Darley money-spinners.Meteor still rising

Northern Meteor’s surge of two-year-old winners continued at Canterbury on Wednesday when Bart Cummings produced Eurozone for a stylish first-up victory, giving his sire his 14th win for the season. Eurozone was a $110,000 yearling buy last year. Northern Meteor is trailing his Widden Stud barn-mate Sebring in the juvenile winners premiership by one, but leads on prizemoney for freshmen sires.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.