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French encounter beckons for Dawn Approach

Godolphin star likely to make quick reappearance in Prix Jacques le Marois

Gulf News

Dubai: Godolphin’s Dawn Approach will bid to emulate the legendary Dubai Millennium should he be given the go-ahead to compete in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville, France, on Sunday.

Jim Bolger’s 2,000 Guineas sensation looks set to make a rather surprising return to action just 12 days after being beaten by Toronado in a highly-anticipated renewal of the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

The three-year-old son of New Approach is reported to have suffered no ill-effects in the race and advertised his well-being when delivering a promising piece of work on Wednesday.

Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford said on the stable’s website: “Jim is very pleased with how Dawn Approach came out of the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

“If all goes well between now and Sunday, he is an intended runner in France. Dawn Approach had an easy blowout this morning and we are happy with him.”

Godolphin have an impressive record in the Prix Jacques le Marois, having won the 1,600m event on four occasions with Dubai Millennium (1999), Muhtathir (2000), Dubawi (2005) and Librettist (2006).

Leitir Mor, Dawn Approach’s regular pacemaker, also figures among the 16 possible runners in the €600,000 (Dh2.93 million) contest, which has been part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series since 2010. The winner will earn an invitation to compete in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita.

However, the ante-post favourite is French Derby winner Intello, who is one of two Andre Fabre-trained runners in the race, the other being Prince D’Alienor.

Moonlight Cloud, impressive winner of the Prix Maurice de Gheest last Sunday, has been confirmed a likely runner by trainer Freddie Head, giving the home team a strong hand in the showpiece event.

Head won the Marois six times as a jockey and twice since he became a trainer in 1997 with Tamayuz in 2008 and Goldikova a year later.

Deauville specialist Elusive Kate, who won the Prix Rothschild in July, heads a strong British contingent that also features John Gosden’s Gregorian, who was fifth in the Sussex. Gregorian is owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohmmad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Aljamaaheer — owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance — is among other notable runners besides Burwaaz and Famous Poet.

Toronado will miss the Group One race, but stable companion Olympic Glory fills the void and bids to give Richard Hannon a first success in the Marois. Olympic Glory will have the services of three-time winner Frankie Dettori.

Wiltshire handler Hannon said on his website: “He is in tremendous form and the work he did over a mile at Everleigh on Sunday was outstanding. Frankie Dettori came down to ride him and he was even more animated than usual afterwards.

“Frankie didn’t stop smiling for five minutes. Obviously, the Deauville race is going to be red hot, what with Intello, Moonlight Cloud and maybe even Dawn Approach, but Olympic Glory has really benefited from his break and is in top order.”


Latest odds

Prix Jacques le Marois (G1)

Deauville, France

Sunday, August 11

Intello (13/8), Dawn Approach (15/8), Moonlight Cloud (3), Elusive Kate (8), Aljamaaheer (16), Olympic Glory (16), Burwaaz (150), Leitir Mor (150).