Dawn Approach Wins Thrilling St James’s Palace Stakes
Dawn Approach returned to the winners circle after his Epsom Derby disaster by narrowly scoring from Toronado in a neck-bobbing finish to the 2013 St James’s Palace Stakes.
Toronado looked as though he was going to grab Dawn Approach in the final furlong but the New Approach colt showed great guts and determination to fight back and hang on for a short head victory.
It was a remarkable fighting effort from Dawn Approach who, along with Toronado, was impeded in the final stages of the race when Glory Awaits shifted left dramatically but both horses were still able to race almost three lengths clear of the rest of the field.
The win capped off a marvelous training performance from Jim Bolger who took the risk of running Dawn Approach so quickly after his failure in the Epsom Derby.
“You take chances, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t,” Bolger said.
“Sheikh Mohammed was a very willing risk-taker.”
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said it was a great day in the history of the organization.
“This is the biggest race of the whole week and it matters,” Crisford said.
“It is massively important and massively important to Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin.
“I can’t describe how great this win feels right now.”
While Bolger, Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin were able to celebrate Richard Hannon, who trains Toronado, was left to wonder what could have been.
“He was unlucky,” Hannon said.
“It’s a shame there was interference, otherwise I think we’d have got it as we were knocked into the middle of the track.
“But that’s racing and we are not dead yet.”
The victory was Dawn Approach’s third Group 1 win, after his previous triumphs in the Dewhurst Stakes and 2000 Guineas, and his second straight win during the Royal Ascot Festival.
The 2013 Royal Ascot Festival continues today with the running of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.